Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic says he was suffering from “a huge mental barrier” during his time with the UFC.
The legendary Croatian heavyweight, winner of the PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix in 2006, joined the UFC in 2007 and was expected to smash his way to a title shot with ease. Instead he was knocked out by Gabriel Gonzaga in his second fight for the organisation and never really recovered his confidence.
Having left the UFC recently he was expected to retire, but instead he returned to his first love, kickboxing. CroCop always regretted not having won a K-1 tournament and so now, even though the organisation is shadow of its former self and all the top fighters are in Glory, he is taking a run at winning a K-1GP title.
Last week he fought US heavyweight Randy Blake and won a unanimous decision to progress to the next stage. There was controversy when CroCop struck Blake after a knockdown - clearly still in MMA mode - and was then flattened by Blake when he was looking for a glove touch by way of apology.LINK