Cape Town - It’s been three weeks since Mirko Cro Cop withdrew from his bout with Anthony Hamilton due to injury. He also very abruptly retired from mixed martial arts after he released a post on his website. During the 28-day period a lot has happened with the UFC and PRIDE legend according to the MMA Latest News website.
It was announced that Cro Cop, who cited his shoulder injury as the reason for his retirement, had failed an out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA, the promotions third party anti-doping agency (a test he admitted he would fail before results were published).
He was provisionally suspended by USADA for two years and the UFC claimed that was the actual reason for Cro Cop not fighting Hamilton at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, South Korea this past weekend.
Appearing on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour, Cro Cop announced that he had over-trained and would have pulled out of the fight regardless,
"And of course in the meantime I didn’t have time to make calls, because if I announced that on the doctor’s recommendation that I take some growth hormone to try to heal, it would be okay," he told Ariel Helwani.
"But it takes time. And I didn’t have that luxury of time. And they came to test me and I said I took it, and [they said] you took it and didn’t ask permission. But at the end of the day, I had an injury and definitely I wouldn’t be able to fight, and to wait another five or six months until the next fight when you are 41…I am just not able to make such a long break between two fights."
Cro Cop (31-11-2) was last in action in April against his rival Gabriel Gonzaga, a rematch from their previous meeting at UFC 70 where Gonzaga upset Cro Cop via devastating high kick. The return bout went to the Croatian, in a very violent affair, Cro Cop stopped Gonzaga via third-round TKO. The win would make it three in a row for the 41-year old Cro Cop.
In what was a very celebrated 14-year career, the Croatian put on some the sport’s most violent and memorable performances. From the rings of PRIDE in Japan to the UFC’s Octagon around the world, the 41-year old has no regrets about how his career ended as he went out on a winning note.
"Listen, that’s life, you know," he said.
"This is a violent sport, and in most of the cases the end is violent. You leave this sport either from injury, from serious injury — or you’ve lost three or four fights in a row and you’re employer doesn’t want to give you any more fights. That’s the sad truth about this sport. Either injury or you lost three or four fights and you get fired.
"Of course, it would have been best if I could have finished all three fights on my contract with three victories and after the last fight in the cage say, okay guys, listen, this is my last fight. I’ll never fight again. But it’s not done that way.
UFC Legend Mirko Cro Cop