Mark Coleman is a retired mixed martial arts (MMA) fight and professional wrestler from America. He won the UFC 10 and UFC 11 fighting championships, was the first-ever UFC Heavyweight Champion, and won the Pride Fighting Championships in 2000. He was added to the UFC Hall of Fame at the UFC 82 event.
Retirement and Return to Fighting
At the UFC 82, Coleman was only the 5th ever fighter to be added to the Hall of Fame. He stated that we wouldn’t retire and would come back to the octagon and fight Brock Lesnar on 9 August 2008 at the UFC 87 event. Coleman, however, got injured in the lead-up to the fight during a training session, and the fight had to be canceled. His place was taken by Heath Herring for the fight.
Coleman went up against another UFC Hall of Famer, Randy Couture, at the UFC 82. The two were meant to fight many years before in 1998 at the UFC 17, but Couture wasn’t fit to fight at the time due to an injury he had picked up beforehand.
Although he didn’t get to fight, Coleman had announced that he was dreaming to fight against Coleman. When the two did fight, Coleman was defeated in the end by a choke hold just after one minute into the second round. This was the first fight ever to see two Hall of Famers fight against each other.
After losing, Coleman went on to lose six out of ten fights and was released from his contract after losing in the UFC 109 event. Coleman didn’t compete for the next three years after that, and that’s when he decided to retire from the MMA in 2010 at 48 years old.
Professional Wrestling Career
Coleman took part in his first-ever professional wrestling bout after being asked to attend the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye event in the year 2000. There, we teamed up with Mark Kerr and the two went face to face against Yuji Nagata and Takashi Iizuka. Coleman and Kerr won the match. Coleman went on to the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) event where he beat Nagata. He then teamed up with Kevin Randleman at the All Japan Pro-Wrestling Wrestle-1 event, taking place in 2002. The two-faced up against Satoshi Kojima and Hiroshi Hase, but lost. The same pair then fought against Jan the Giant Convict and Singh the Giant Convict where they had won with Coleman finishing off the match with a hurricanrana to win.
Two years later, in 2004, Coleman began wrestling for the Hustle and Pro Wrestling Zero-One promotions. His opening fight as part of the promotions was against Toshiaka “babyface” Kawada. The two fought in the Generalissimo Takada’s villainous faction Monster Army event. Coleman was defeated by a technical knockout. He went on to team up with other fighters of Monsters Army, such as Dan Bobiash, Giant Silva, and Commander An Jo. However, he no longer fought alongside them again after he lost against Naoya Ogawa. This was said to have made him become a “babyface” also. He ended up going to Wataru Sakata’s team after he lost a match against him. The two worked well together as a tag team. However, the partnership ended after Coleman resigned from the team in 2005.
Coleman took part in a documentary titled The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Mark Kerr, along with his friend and fellow fighter, Mark Kerr.
Working as a coach
Mark became one of the coaches at the International Fight League in June 2006. However, he was unable to bring a team together successfully, so he was replaced as coach in the end by Ken Shamrock.
In 2020, Coleman announced that he had become a victim of the scandal started by Dr. Richard Strauss in the Ohio State University abuse case.
In the same year, in 2020, Coleman took a heart attack, caused by a blocked artery, resulting in him having to have a stent added.
In his interview with Ariel Helwani last year, in 2021, he announced that he had gone to rehab to try and deal with a drinking problem he had.