Following back-to-back losses and his steady descent in the world heavyweight rankings, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (27-9-2 MMA, 4-5 UFC) apparently is headed into retirement.
And following Filipovic's loss to Brendan Schaub (8-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at Saturday's UFC 128 event, UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) he doesn't expect much push back from the fighter.
"I don't think I'd have an argument from 'Cro Cop,'" he said.
In a pay-per-view main-card bout at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Schaub delivered the former PRIDE great a violent third-round knockout defeat. Schaub overpowered Filipovic for most of the fight and then floored him with a right hook to the side of the head in the final few minutes of the fight.
Filipovic also suffered a knockout loss in his previous bout, which came at UFC 119 to Frank Mir.
White said he'll always respect what the 36-year-old Croatian has accomplished in the sport. But he doesn't expect Filipovic back in the cage.
"I was talking tonight about how tough Mirko 'Cro Cop' is," White said. "At his age and with the wars he's been in, to see how he gets in there with these heavyweights now that are bigger, stronger and younger than he is – and he still holds his own – it's a testament to what a great fighter that guy was in his prime.
"I have all respect for Mirko 'Cro Cop,' but yeah, I'd have to say tonight is probably the last time we'll see 'Cro Cop' fight again."
White, though, said he hadn't talked to Filipovic before or after the fight about future plans. But based on his assessment, it's clear it's likely not the fighter's decision to make whether he returns to the UFC.
Filipovic went 2-3 in his most recent UFC stint and 1-2 in a heavily anticipated first stint back in 2007. The 2006 PRIDE open-weight grand-prix winner failed to capture the form that led him to a top world-heavyweight ranking and past victories over the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, Aleksander Emelianenko and Mark Coleman.
Additionally, while once known for an electric striking game and head-kick knockouts, his recent bouts lacked that pizazz. In fact, after back-to-back losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo in 2007, he briefly left the UFC and fought in Japan before rejoining the UFC for his latest (and apparently final) stint.