Still training. Still punching strong. Mirko Filipović is a veteran legend of MMA. His professional career started in mid-nineties when he fought in Germany for petty cash. After numerous injuries and surgeries with a diagnosis that promised retirement, Mirko is getting in shape for his next match. Everyone, all the time mentions the farewell match but it seems that that one isn't coming. Ever... He is not broke and not a desperate man. He fights because he loves the thrill and the excitement.
He said: "If someone told me ten years ago that I was going to be training when 44, I'd probably get depressed. I'd probably not cry but it wouldn't have felt good. Twenty years ago I thought that only desperate people fight over 40. Today I see things differently. I am expecting my next fight with great joy!"
Mirko will fight against Roque Martinez, who is 12 years younger fighter weighing 120kg. Sounds dangerous. With his thrombosis diagnose and complications that came along, it is quite risky. This reminds me of a film scenario, not a real life. But, as we know, life is the best scriptwriter. With him getting treatments for his knee and training, there are many doctors who would rather see him retired.
Three months ago, Mirko had to cancel a fight with Nelson. His knee broke again a day before the trip. That and a six-day long high temperature were unbeatable obstacles. Mirko was in critical condition and the doctors feared for his heart.
He said: "What I have is a minor injury compared to what people go through in car accidents. Nobody runs away from his destiny. I cannot explain to my mum why do I still fight. She asks why, when I have enough of everything. I tell her that I never started this because of money. It was always passion and love."
An impressive career is behind this man. Let's take a quick look at his records.
What to conclude in the end? The legend does not let it go. I don't blame him. If you are good at something, you don't let go. It is passion and passion is often stronger than reason. Whatever happens, I will always remember Mirko as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. The guy who wouldn't let go even though he did admit that there are only one of two fights ahead of him, not 10 years.