Bursting on the scene at UFC 10 in 1996, Mark Coleman seemed, for a brief while, to be indestructible. And he was for his first six fights, capturing both the UFC 10 and 11 titles. His dominance proved that wrestlers could be competitive with the jiu-jitsu experts and other martial artists who had prevailed up until that time. As the first in American MMA to successfully employ the ground-and-pound style, he became referred to as "The Godfather of Ground And Pound."
Now, Mark Coleman has fought his last fight. Although it's been assumed by many since he last competed in 2010, in a loss to Randy Couture, Coleman had yet to officially announce his retirement. However, Monday on his Facebook page he let his friends and fans know that he had competed for the final time.
Total Hip replacement next Monday.ouch the hammer is done fighting.i know been done. Just looking for some prayors [sic]. i thank everyone who will help me get through this.hav [sic] to pay to play sometimes. only regret is could hav [sic] worked harder.love you all live your dream.
Following his initial success, which included victories over fellow legends Dan Severn and Don Frye, it seemed the MMA world began to catch up to Mark Coleman. As the sport evolved, Coleman's more one dimensional style began to be exposed by more versatile fighters who could stave off his powerful wrestling. That, coupled with a lack of stamina, reduced his effectiveness in the cage. Four consecutive losses followed those first six wins, as Coleman went from the UFC to the PRIDE organization.
Coleman enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in PRIDE, capturing their 2000 Open Weight Grand Prix. As part of another six fight win streak, that was, however, the highest point of what remained in his career. He would have flashes of his former greatness in the years to follow, but would never again be among the very best in MMA. The last real high spot for him in competition came at PRIDE 31, when he defeated the young star, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Coleman was named as the fifth member of the UFC Hall Of Fame in 2008, and actually returned to the organization to compete, even beating Stephan Bonnar in the process. His three fights during his return made him the only Hall of Fame member to compete inside the Octagon. His last fight with Couture led to his release, ultimately marking the last time he would compete.