Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mirko Cro Cop to Face Rizin Heavyweight Tournament Winner in Final Bout

Mirko Cro Cop has announced that the final fight of his illustrious career will come in 2018 against the winner of the Rizin Heavyweight tournament

The Croat spoke to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour that he will face Tsuyoshi Kohsaka on Rizin’s Dec. 30 event in Saitama, Japan.

Cro Cop’s plan to wind down his career involves a bout against Kohsaka next month, prior to another bout on a Rizin card next April or July. Following that, the 43-year-old will then face off against the Rizin tournament winner in December 2018 which will signal the final bout of what will be an 18-year professional career in MMA:

“Sometimes the end needs to come,” Cro Cop said. “I think this time will be it. It’s harder and harder for me to be motivated for training.”

Cro Cop claimed that his initial plan was to face MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko prior to the Russian’s loss to Matt Mitrione this year. Cro Cop still thinks the fight would make sense:

“It would be a perfect fight,” Cro Cop said. “Fedor is a true legend of the sport. One of the biggest, maybe the biggest MMA fighter ever. It doesn’t matter. He lost a fight against Mitrione. It doesn’t matter. He will always be marked as one of the biggest — for me, the biggest MMA fighter of all time.

As for keeping himself in shape, the Zagreb-native believes his training regime against younger opponents is keeping him on his toes:

“They are kicking my ass,” Cro Cop said. “At least, they are trying to kick my ass. That’s what keeps me sharp.”

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