Win, lose or draw, mixed martial arts and kickboxing superstar Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (16-7, 11 KO) will retire on Saturday. After more than 16 years as a professional fighter, the 37-year-old former IKBF Heavyweight Champion and former Pride Open Weight Grand Prix Champion will step into the ring just once more as he squares off with 41-year-old Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo (56-22-1, 38 KO) at “Final Fight: Cro Cop vs. Sefo” in Croatia on March 10.
Starting in 1996, Cro Cop fought seven years as a professional kickboxer before moving to MMA full time. He holds notable K-1 victories over the likes of Jerome Le Banner, Peter Aerts, Bob Sapp, Mark Hunt and Remy Bonjasky.
Cro Cop made the transition to mixed martial arts full time in 2001 where became a legend fighting for Pride Fighting Championships in Japan. He scored significant wins over such names as Josh Barnett, Wanderlei Silva, Kazushi Sakuraba, Alexander Emelianenko and Mark Coleman.
In 2007 Cro Cop signed on with the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he went 4-6. Clearly moving toward the tail end of his career, Cro Cop still managed wins over Pat Barry, Mostapha Al-Turk, Anthony Perosh and Eddie Sanchez. Certain pundits have pointed out that Cro Cop was never the same fighter after suffering a devastating head kick knockout from Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 in April 2007.
Cro Cop’s final UFC bout ended in a third round TKO loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 137 last October. It was his third knockout loss in a row. It seems only fitting that Cro Cop’s final fight will be a kickboxing match. He was known more for his devastating kicks than anything else as evidenced by his trademark phrase, “Right leg hospital, left leg cemetery.”
Sefo last fought (kickboxing) in Oct. 2010 when he lost a unanimous decision to Tyrone Spong in the K-1 World Grand Prix in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to that he had won three straight bouts, all via unanimous decision, including a win over Hong Man Choi in the K-1 2008 World Grand Prix.
The complete fight card for “Final Fight: Cro Cop vs. Sefo” is as follows:
- Igor Jurkovic (29-3, 23 KO) vs. Freddy Kemayo (60-18, 43 KO)
- Daniel Ghita (39-7, 29 KO) vs. 2011 SuperKombat WGP Final champion Sergei Laschenko (29-9, 12 KO)
- Former Croatian Muay Thai Champion Mladen Brestovac (36-8, 25 KO) vs. Dutch heavyweight WFCA kickboxing winner Mourad Bouzidi (65-15, 32 KO)
- Former WKA European titleholder Dzevad Poturak (47-16, 30 KO) vs. Ismail “Mr. Pain” Londt (27-3, 12 KO)
- Mladen “Dynamite” Kujundzic (8-3, 5 KO) vs. TBA
- 2009 World Kickboxing champion Agron Preteni (56-10) vs. European kickboxing king Guy Pacome Assi (11-6, 5 KO)
- Stefan Jelicv (6-1, 6 KO) vs. Michael Duut (15-5, 7 KO)
- Former WKA European champ Ivan Posavec (19-4) vs. Miran “Rocky” Fabjan (34-5)
“Final Fight: Cro Cop vs. Sefo” is airing LIVE on Fight Now TV this Saturday, March 10, at 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT. For those who do not have Fight Now TV, don’t worry, you can watch “Final Fight: Cro Cop vs. Sefo” on Internet Pay-Per-View for $24.95 on FightNowTV.com or on Ustream.com/channel/Fight-Now-TV.
Check out this “Final Fight: Cro Cop vs. Sefo” preview video: