Article seen on Examiner.com
Most fans who came to the party circa The Ultimate Fighter
don’t know much about the history of Mark Coleman. Anytime you see someone effectively utilizing
ground and pound, just know, they are not utilizing it like Mark Coleman
did. The innovated of the style that
launched a thousand careers, Mark Coleman was once the best in the world.
Coleman’s ground and pound was a thing of absolute violence
and beauty. He would take his opponent
down, and rain down tremendous shots, with a fury never before seen in the
sport. He is the first wrestler who came
into the sport, and excelled with takedowns and ground and pound.
Mark had a fourteen year professional career that saw him become both the first
ever UFC Heavyweight Champion, and win the 2000 Pride Open-weight Grand Prix. Those are the kind of credentials that other
fighters dream of. He started a gym,
known as the Hammer House, and trained his protege Kevin Randleman there, among
Coleman was also involved in some of the wildest incidents
in MMA, including the Hammer House vs. Chute Boxe war at Pride 31 when Coleman
was facing Shogun Rua, who broke his arm/elbow on a freak injury while being
taken down by Coleman. It resulted in
Wanderlei Silva and the Chute Boxe crew having a brawl in the ring with Coleman
and Phil Baroni.
Shogun would get his revenge in the UFC, but it was a moment
that is ingrained in the memories of Pride fans. Coleman also is responsible for the most hilarious
post fight celebration in Pride history. After defeating Igor Vovchanchyn to become the
Pride 2000 Grand Prix champion, Coleman leapt around the ring, including a
drive to a laying position on the top rope, that immediately saw him crash back
into the ring. Coleman didn’t do anything
Coleman is often overlooked when talking about the best of
the best in MMA. His 16-10 record doesn’t
tell the tale of dominance he once had.
His last fight was a loss to Randy Couture, whose 19-11 record is
similar, but he’s held in higher regard.
Then again, he coached The Ultimate Fighter, so everyone knows him.
Now 48, retired and facing a hip replacement, Mark Coleman
is a legend, a UFC Hall of Famer, and the Grandfather of Ground and Pound. Here’s to hoping the next chapter of his
life, is as fulfilling and successful as this last one was.