Height: 6'1" (186cm)
Weight: 245 lbs
Mark "The Hammer" Coleman (born December 20, 1964) is an American mixed martial artist, professional wrestler, former NCAA collegiate wrestler and former Olympic amateur wrestler.
In MMA, he was the UFC 10 and UFC 11 tournament champion, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion, and the PRIDE Fighting Championships 2000 Open Weight Grand Prix champion. On 1 March 2008, Coleman was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Coleman is credited with proving the ability of wrestlers to dominate in the developing sport of mixed martial arts, and with being the inventor of the strategy that came to be known as ground-and-pound.Following his amateur career, Coleman made the transition to the then-new sport of mixed martial arts, winning his first two tournaments, UFC 10 where he beat defending champion Don Frye and UFC 11 in 1996, and becoming the UFC's first heavyweight champion when he submitted Dan Severn via neck crank at UFC 12.
Coleman made his first title defense at UFC 14, facing the kickboxer Maurice Smith. In what turned out to be a long battle, Coleman lost a decision after 21:00 (regulation plus two overtimes) to Smith. Realizing his stamina was not able to sustain fighting for so long, Coleman took nearly a year off and returned at UFC 17, facing up and coming Lion's Den fighter Pete Williams. In what turned out to be another long and strenuous battle, Coleman appeared to be completely exhausted after 10 minutes, even resting his hands on his knees during the fight. Taking advantage of Coleman's fatigue, Williams landed a heavy kick to the face, knocking Mark Coleman out for the first time in his career.
After nearly eight months of recuperation and training, Coleman returned at UFC 18 to face feared Brazilian striker Pedro Rizzo. After 15:00 the fight went to the judges, who called the fight for Rizzo.
From 2000 through 2006, Coleman continued his career with Japanese promotion, PRIDE Fighting Championships while also making appearances with the professional wrestling promotion HUSTLE. He won the PRIDE 2000 Open Weight Grand Prix tournament defeating Masaaki Satake, Akira Shoji, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Igor Vovchanchyn.
After a quick TKO victory over Allan Goes at PRIDE 13, Coleman faced possibly his toughest challenge ever in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE 16. "Minotauro" was able to catch Coleman in a triangle/armbar at 6:10 of the first round, breaking Coleman's six fight winning streak.
Coleman would take nearly two years off following the fight with Nogueira, spending time with his wife and children, and focusing on developing his martial arts training facility and stable of fighters at Team Hammer House. Training such fighters as Kevin Randleman, Wes Sims, and Phil Baroni, Team Hammer House quickly gained a reputation of turning out world class fighters.
Coleman returned to MMA competition at PRIDE 26 to face Don Frye in a rematch of their meeting at UFC 10; this proved to be a much tougher battle. Coming back from a career threatening neck injury, Coleman ultimately won a unanimous decision victory after 20 minutes. Following the fight, Coleman apologised to the fans for the lack of action during the fight, in which he had spent the majority of the time in taking down and maintaining positional dominace of Frye with his superior wrestling ability.
Between training fighters and spending time with his family, Coleman was now fighting roughly once a year. He returned to competition to take place in the PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix, as the returning Grand Prix champion in the Open Weight Division. His first round match at PRIDE Total Elimination 2004 was against PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. In what turned out to be a short bout, Coleman was submitted by armbar at 2:11 of the first round, eliminating him from the tournament.
Coleman returned to the Pride ring in February 2005, this time facing Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovi? at PRIDE 29: Fists of Fire. Suffering the second knockout of his career, Coleman fell to strikes by "Cro Cop" in the first round. In November of 2005, Coleman appeared in Bushido Europe-Rotterdam Rumble, Europe's first Bushido event, and choked out Milco Voorn at 0:56 of the first round.
Coleman returned to action at PRIDE 31 with a victory over Chute Boxe team member Mauricio "Shogun" Rua after the fight was stopped when Shogun suffered a dislocated elbow during a Coleman takedown. With Team Hammer House member Phil Baroni in his corner, Coleman began the match by taking Shogun to the ground. At 0:49 of the first round, Rua got up and as he took the first step Coleman grabbed his feet. Rua fell awkwardly and broke his arm. Coleman continued to fight, peppering Rua with strikes before the referee stopped the fight but not before Coleman threw the referee aside and began to shout at Murilo Rua, Mauricio's brother, who entered the ring following the injury.
With the referee still holding Coleman, Chute Boxe members come charging to the ring to protect their teammate. In the flash of an eye, amongst the hordes of managers, trainers, PRIDE officials, judges, referees and security people all in the ring trying to separate everyone, Wanderlei Silva charged into the ring and went after Coleman. Then in the next instant, Coleman training partner Phil Baroni went after Silva.
Backstage in his post-fight interview, Coleman stated that the whole melee happened in the heat of the moment and that he didn't blame the Chute Boxe team for coming in and backing their fighter. He then added that similar to Chute Boxe, Hammer House is also like a family, and thanked Baroni for coming in and watching his back. An outraged Chute Boxe refused to accept Coleman's backstage apology. The Chute Boxe team was assigned a yellow card for instigating this infraction.
On October 21 2006, Coleman again faced PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE's first American show, PRIDE 32: The Real Deal and lost via submission (armbar) at 1:17 of round two.
Coleman appeared with teammate, Kevin Randleman, on the US pay-per-view broadcast of the final PRIDE event, PRIDE 34: Kamikaze, stating that he intended to keep fighting.
At UFC 82, Coleman was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, making him the 5th inductee. Coleman announced that he was not retiring and would return to the octagon to fight Brock Lesnar on August 9th in Minneapolis at UFC 87. However, Coleman injured his knee while training, and was forced to pull out of the event. Heath Herring replaced Coleman for the fight.The main event of that card became a welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and contender Jon Fitch.
On October 1, 2008, UFC announced a rematch against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at 205 lbs at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland, a match he lost via TKO in the third round. Mark Coleman was disappointed at his loss and expressed an interest in fighting Mauricio "Shogun" Rua again. Mark was visibly exhausted after the first round, with Joe Rogan commentating that he looked "like a confused old man". Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was also visibly exhausted during the fight and Rogan commented that win, lose or draw Shogun did not fight well, mainly due to the fact that he was dominated by "an exhausted 44 year old". Despite losing Coleman expressed interest in a rubber match and was angry that he lost so close to the end, 24 seconds remaining.