Rumors started to circulate late Monday night that Cro Cop had dropped out to his scheduled fight with Anthony Hamilton due to an injury and had retired from combat sports. With nearly 80 combat sport fights that spanned MMA, Kickboxing and Boxing it only made sensor the long time Heavyweight to hang it up. He just turned 41 in September and in the span of the last few years retired from MMA but went back to kick boxing to win a world title. In the few years back int he sport that made him famous he went 7-1 winning a grand prix title and only lost by decision to one of the best in Remy Bojansky. In that same span he flirted with MMA going 3-1 with three finishes in his wins and lost to Oleksiy Oliynyk by submission which in turn gave him a chance at UFC glory. While other promotions expressed interest, the Croatian born fighter ultimately resigned with the UFC for a rematch with Gabriel Gonzaga.
Gonzaga famously made a fool of Cro Cop in his first run in the UFC by knocking him out with his patented high kick. This lead to Cro Cop going 6-6 over the next few years through his two stints with the promotion. Gonzaga went on to fight for the title and then become a gatekeeper for the Heavyweight division. Cro Cop was freshly resigned with the promotion after two straight wins while Gonzaga had lost two straight against Stipe mMiocic and Matt Mitrione. The two past their prime fighters had an epic battle which ended with Cro Cop coming back and fishing the fight when everyone thought he was done in the fight and in his career. While no one expected him to challenge for the title everyone assumed he would have a few more fights.
That is why when he backed out of his fight with Hamilton just a few weeks before it was set to go down it was weird. Plus, he did it on his own site before the UFC had a chance to comment. Well, there may have been a reason for that. Cro Cop may have been trying to get out ahead of some news. It seems that Cro Cop now has the ubiquitous record of being the first fighter to fail a USADA test. Yes, Donald Cerrone made headlines for “failing” a test for not being home when the inspectors came to test him, but it seems the old Heavyweight stalwart failed his test due to a banned substance. While it was not released to the public what the substance was, one can only imagine what the history books will say about this turn of events.