Date of Birth:
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was born on September 10, 1874 in Vinkovci, Croatia.
Personal Life and Beyond Fighting:
Cro Cop currently lives in Zagreb (Croatia’s capital) with his wife, Klaudija, and son, Ivan. He was a commando in the Croatian police anti-terrorist unit Alpha before turning to fighting in 1996. Cro Cop was also elected to a seat in the Croatian Parliament on the Social Democratic Party list. His initial term ended in November 2007.
Cro Cop Squad
Cro Cop is a heavyweight fighter with a kickboxing background. The speed and devastating power of his left high kick
helped to dispel an early MMA myth that high kicks weren’t useful in the sport. He is considered one of the greatest strikers in MMA history.
Cro Cop is also known for his very strong takedown defense. Though he is not considered an adept submission fighter, he does train in all fighting styles, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In fact, he trained with Fabricio Werdum for a period of time and has looked better from a defensive standpoint on the ground since then.
Cro Cop started kickboxing in 1996. He scored a significant win over Jerome Le Banner, but fell to Ernesto Hoost that same year.
Three years later in the K-1 Grand Prix Tournament (the Super Bowl of kickboxing), Cro Cop scored victories over Mike Bernardo, Musashi, and Sam Greco before losing to Hoost by stoppage.
In 2000, Cro Cop would once again came up short in a tournament, this time to Mike Bernardo—the man that he had defeated in 1999— at the Nagoya Grand Prix. Later that same year he fell to Hoost again. Though he began competing in MMA in 2001, he didn’t leave kickboxing fully until some time after that.
Cro Cop began his MMA career in the K-1 organization, defeating Kazuyuki Fujita. From there, he competed 24 times in the now defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships organization, posting victories over elite fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, and Aleksander Emelianenko, amongst many others. His decision loss to Fedor Emelianenko was one of the most hyped heavyweight battles ever. In 2006, Cro Cop defeated Wanderlei Silva
and Josh Barnett
consecutively to win PRIDE's final open weight tournament.
Soon after winning PRIDE's open weight tourney, Cro Cop put together a disappointing run in the UFC- going 1-2 with losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo- before jumping to the DREAM organization. After two fights with DREAM, Cro Cop once again signed with the UFC.
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Josh Barnett on 9/10/06: This was the fight that gave Cro Cop the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Championship, winning by first round submission due to strikes.
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Wanderlei Silva on 9/10/06: Silva was knocked out by one of the most brutal head kicks of all-time in this highly anticipated bout.
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Igor Vovchanchyn on 8/10/03: At the time, people were wondering who was the better striker between these two all-time greats. After a brutal head kick knockout in the first round by Cro Cop, the answer was obvious.