<
>

Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipovic not retiring yet

The storied career of mixed martial artist Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipovic is not over, yet.

UFC president Dana White confirmed to ESPN.com Wednesday the Croatian will return to the Octagon despite suffering brutal knockout losses in his past two fights.

Filipovic (27-9-2) is nearing the end of a three-fight deal he signed with the UFC last June. Although it's not unusual to see the promotion cut fighters following back-to-back losses, White said the UFC would honor the final fight on Filipovic's contract.

"This guy wants to fight again and I owe him another fight," White told ESPN.com. "He's a grown man. If he wants to continue to fight, that's his right and he still has a fight with me."

Immediately after Filipovic's last performance, a third-round knockout loss at the hands of Brendan Schaub at UFC 128 in March, White admitted he thought the 36-year-old should retire, adding, "I don't think I'd have an argument from 'Cro Cop.'"

It appears, however, the former Pride star has no plans of hanging it up. Last month, he publicly expressed a desire to face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira this summer at UFC 134. Nogueira was ultimately paired against Schaub.

Nevertheless, it's clear Filipovic wishes to continue his career. For at least one more fight, White will oblige.

"Do I think he should've retired? Yeah," White said. "I don't think he's in one of these situations like a Chuck Liddell though, where I thought he needed to retire right then.

"'Cro Cop' and I made a deal and he wants to fight again. I'm going to honor that deal."

Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.