Sunday, 13 December 2020

Croatian MMA Union Formed with Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipovic as Honorary President

December 13, 2020 - The newly founded Croatian MMA Union was officially presented to the media in Zagreb by Dražen Forgač and Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipović. reports that after maintaining and improving the world of freestyle wrestling in Croatia for years without formal functions, former fighters Dražen Forgač, Zelg Galešić, and Igor Pokrajac decided to take things to a higher level and founded the Croatian MMA Union.

"The motive for founding the Croatian MMA Union is that the situation on the MMA scene is currently such that the interest is great, the halls are full - especially with young fighters and amateur recreationists, and we want to unite all clubs, and we succeeded," said President Forgač.

The honorary president of the newly founded Union was accepted by the greatest Croatian legend of this sport - Mirko Filipović.

“This is to help young fighters, organize competitions, organize seminars for refs, for coaches, for cutmen, and so on, everything that goes into the spectrum of that job," Cro Cop said.

If you wonder why the umbrella organization that brings together all the important clubs in the country is called the Union, and not the Federation - the answer is because the Federation already exists. But since its founding in 2006, Cro Cop says that the Croatian MMA Federation has been basically inactive.

"After all, to be honest, I don't even know who founded it and on what basis that MMA Federation was founded," he said.

"We did everything ourselves - the organization, care for fighters, amateur championships," said Pokrajac.

The same will continue to work, but under the auspices of the Union and at a higher level. Just how much interest there is in MMA in Croatia is best shown by the numbers.

"At the last amateur competition, there were over 100 fighters despite COVID-19, and the viewership was over 40,000 people live via the Youtube channel. So I think the interest is great - both the audience and the athletes themselves," says Forgač.

Globally, MMA has more than 500 million fans, and its current biggest star, Khabib Nurmagomedov, has taken on the role of the promoter to make mixed martial arts an Olympic sport by the Games in Los Angeles in 2028,

"Khabib is certainly one of the most popular fighters today, and it is certainly a great thing that he got involved and engaged in it. A big thank you to him on behalf of all the fighters. I think it would be a great thing if mixed martial arts, MMA sport, joined the Olympic family," said Cro Cop. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Croatian 'Cro Cop' Paralysed Dog Walks After Hip Surgery!

Croatian ‘Cro Cop’ posted a touching Facebook message to his fans: “They advised us to put her to sleep, but my dog is alive and well!”

‘Cro Cop’ Mirko Filipović's posts are often very popular, but a recent post particularly thrilled his fans because it is very touching, and how could it not be when one it is dedicated to one of his true loves: his dog Kora.

‘Cro Cop’ is known for treating his dogs like family members, and is especially emotionally attached to Kora because, at one point, he was advised to put her to sleep. Veterinarians did not give her any chance of recovery, but the "written off" dog eventually recovered and is now completely healthy, according to Zadarski on January 12, 2020.

Here is the Croatian boxer's complete post:

"Kora! My pet just turned 7 months old and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia 2 and a half months ago. Veterinarians said it was practically over for her. It was urgent to have artificial hips installed, because her situation was dire. Even then the euthanasia option was being suggested given the cost of surgery and the complexity of the rehabilitation Kori would have to undergo, which is demanding and complicated. And there is no guarantee that the surgery would succeed completely given the uncertain shelf life of artificial hips. Of course, 24-hour monitoring was necessary, because she must not run, jump or make any uncontrolled movement during recovery.

A friend referred me to a vet in Slovenia, Dr. Milan Matkea, a world-class expert and specialist in these cases. After reviewing the x-ray of Kora's hips, he said that he would operate and that he would not implant artificial hips. Instead he would only 'rotate her tendons and ligaments' if I have explained the procedure correctly. Basically, Kora has been operated on and has gone from a dog who was written off to one that is completely healthy today.

Today we went for our first walk. She walks completely normally and now we must gradually get her used to longer walks to strengthen the muscles that have atrophied. Six weeks after surgery, Kora has fully recovered. Rehab was difficult, although I was not very involved in that. Thank you to my wife Klaudija, who slept on the living room floor with Kora for 6 weeks, because Kora was not allowed to stay alone for a second until she had completely healed. I should also mention taking Kora outside to go to the bathroom, which was done with one hand holding a leash and the other with a towel tucked under her belly to reduce the load on her hind legs when walking.

Basically, Kora is healthy, recovering and alive today! For all of this I must thank Dr. Matkea. Thank you Dr. Matkea for everything you have done so that Kora alive and well and with us today."

Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on Croatian celebrities, their pets and veterinary medical advances.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Seven Weeks After Retirement, Cro Cop Reveals: "I'm Slowly Becoming Aware that its Over"

April 23, 2019 - Less than two months ago, Mirko Filipović, better known as Cro Cop, revealed the shocking end of his career. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Cro Cop's Protege and Japanese Fighter Satoshi Ishii Becomes Croatian Citizen

Satoshi Ishii can officially be called a Croatian fighter!

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Cro Cop Recalls Student Days in Zagreb, Working as Security Guard, and Red Nikes

March 3, 2019 - After news broke on Saturday that Croatian MMA fighter Cro Cop, or Mirko Filipović, was forced to retire from the ring after suffering a stroke, the outpour of support and praise for the celebrated fighter has not come to a halt. 

The MMA legend has been showered with stories by fighters and friends in the last 24 hours, which has brought true gems to the surface from Filipović’s early days as a student in Zagreb, long before he embarked on his magnificent 25-year-career, reports 24 Sata on March 3, 2019. 

Some of you might be aware that the student dorm Stjepan Radić in Zagreb is the most famous home in Croatia; a place where generations and generations of students spend their university days. It is where you party, learn, socialize and enjoy the benefits of student life.

But not many people know that at the Sava, which is the popular nickname for the great dorm, lived the strongest man in Croatia. Yes, you guessed it, Mirko Filipović. 

Namely, Cro Cop came to the Sava in 1994, with 400 marks in his pocket given to him by his mother. He spent a year there and lived illegally while working on the side to survive.

Four years ago, Mirko visited his old home and gave a lecture to the students. The legendary Kino Forum was not big enough to host all of the curious ears. About 400 people packed the small room to listen to Filipović speak. 

“At that time, I worked as a security guard and attended the Police Academy. My first roommate looked like Kurt Cobain, and then I got a second roommate that was the complete opposite. That room was cleaned day and night. On one occasion I returned from work at 3 or 4 in the morning and found him cleaning the windows. I liked it,” said Cro Cop, who lived in the 7th Pavilion, in room 22.

"Of course I like him. I've been watching him fight for a long time. I think of him as a positive person and an excellent fighter, his left high kick will be recorded in history,” says Ivan, who has lived near Mirko’s old room for years.

The students love Mirko, because of his personality, and because of his modesty - he came from nothing and introduced himself to the martial arts world as a big star. Of course, the students diligently followed his fights, and everyone is devastated to hear that he's been forced into early retirement. 

“His first match I saw was in 2008 when he defeated Japan's Mizuno, and definitely the favorite match is the win against Gonzaga in the return match. Goodness, how he broke him.  I'm sorry he had to go this way because I know he is a fighter in the heart, but health has no mercy. The most important thing is that everything went well. He achieved ten wins in a row, so he went out like a hero,” added the student.

Student life on the Sava is most famous for going out and hanging out. Student Wednesday, for example, is an event that never goes missed - students are quite innovative. In their small rooms of 13 m2, they are known to cram up to 20 people!

Mirko, however, did not like going out because he was diligently training at the time he lived in the dorms.

“I do not drink alcohol. And then I did not like going out, just like now. I just think it's a waste of time. I train on Friday and Saturday, so I prefer to rest,” said Cro Cop.

One of the most famous anecdotes associated with Mirko and Sava are his red sneakers. 

The Croatian fighter lived in the dorms, worked as a security guard and earned a living. His great wish was a beautiful pair of Nike sneakers he finally managed to afford. However,  living on the ground floor of a student dorm had its disadvantages. 

“I bought beautiful red Nike sneakers. And put them on the window, just naive. The next morning they were gone. I thought that maybe they fell, but no, no. One of the toughest moments of my stay at the Sava,” Mirko said with laughter.

"If I could return to those days with this mind now, I would do it right away. I would not change anything; everything would be the same. I just want to repeat that period,” Cro Cro Cop said as nostalgia for past times overcame him. 

This was just the beginning for the greatest Croatian fighter. Only two years later, in 1996, Mirko had his first fight when he defeated the legendary Le Banner.

The Sava still has the strongest man in Croatia.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Legendary Cro Cop Forced to Retire After Suffering Stroke

Legendary Croatian fighter Mirko Filipović, who you might know better as Cro Cop, has announced his retirement from the ring. 

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Cro Cop Gets Revenge on Roy Nelson, Wins at Bellator 216 (VIDEO)

Cro Cop does it again!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Cro Cop Looks Better than Ever Ahead of Roy Nelson Fight in Bellator 216

Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipović (44) will fight against Roy Nelson (42) in the Bellator 216 on Saturday night in Uncasville, Connecticut. The fight will take place around 4 am on Sunday Croatia time, reports on February 16, 2019. 

While the grand event will be held at the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena, if you’re in Croatia, you can watch the fight between Mirko Filipović and Roy Nelson on MaxTV, TotalTV, VipTV, H1TV, IskonTV, OptiTV on Fight Channel and

If he wins, Mirko Filipović will get revenge on Roy Nelson who won seven years ago, on October 29, 2011, at the UFC 127. Their rematch was originally scheduled for last May in London but was canceled due to Filipovic's left knee injury.

Recall, ‘Cro Cop’ and ‘Big Country’ were supposed to fight at the jubilee Bellator 200, though the Croatian fighter had to pull out due to his ACL injury. Filipović sent an apology to Nelson and announced that they would fight again.

"I will recuperate as soon as possible and hope that we will then have a chance. I'm really looking forward to this, and I hope you will accept a fight again,” Filipović said to Nelson at the end of May.

Filipović recovered from his injury faster than expected and defeated Roque Martinez at the Rizin 13 spectacle in Japan. Mirko’s next fight was supposed to be at the Rizin this New Year's Eve, though they failed to move forward after Floyd Mayweather announced his appearance at the competition, which ate most of the event’s budget. 

"I will do whatever it takes,” Mirko said ahead of the fight on Saturday against Nelson. 

At the official weighing, Mirko Filipović weighed 106.5 kilograms, which is significantly less than Nelson's 118 kilograms. Since he has never lost in a rematch, Mirko Filipović is considered the favorite by bookies. 

Before his 51st professional MMA performance, Mirko Filipović published photos on his Facebook page from the official Bellator photo session.

“I’m very close to the end of my line. So far, I feel good, and my shape is good, and my cardio is good. But it won’t last forever, and I’m aware of that,” Cro Cop told MMAjunkie ahead of the fight. 

He added that he felt better than ever at his age. 

“It’s a mental advantage, definitely. I feel good. That’s the most important thing,” the Croatian concluded for MMAjunkie.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipović Set for US Return Against Roy Nelson

Mirko Cro Cop Filipović and Roy Nelson will allegedly face each other in the US in February, according to ESPN.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

'Cro Cop' Returns to Ring and Extends Winning Streak at Rizin 13 in Japan!

Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović returned to the ring and extended his winning streak, even after he suffered a severe knee injury not even five months ago. 

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