Mark Coleman, also known as The Hammer, 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 March 1, 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.


Mark Coleman was born in Fremont, Ohio, U.S. in 1964. He began freestyle wrestling as a teenager, and wrestled for Miami University, in Ohio, where he was a two time Mid-Americcan Conference wrestling champion. In his senior year, he transferred to The Ohio State University and won an NCAA championship. Out of college, Coleman was awarded a spot on the US Wrestling team, placing seventh overall in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

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.

PRIDE Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

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 which he had spent the majority of 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" Filipović 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. 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. Chute Boxe team members outside the ring, including then PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva, jumped into the ring and began struggling with cornerman Phil Baroni. In the ensuing melee, Baroni landed several shots on Silva before taking Silva to the ground, where Coleman then stomped on Silva's throat. After the ring was cleared and order was restored, both camps vowed to settle the score at a future event. Coleman later apologised to Chute Boxe backstage, but an outraged Chute Boxe refused to accept. 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 U.S. pay-per-view broadcast of the final PRIDE event, PRIDE 34: Kamikaze, stating that he intended to keep fighting.

Return to UFC (2008)Edit

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 the contender Jon Fitch.

Filmography Edit

Championships and accomplishments Edit

Amateur wrestling Edit

  • NCAA champion
  • FILA World Freestyle Wrestling championship 100 kg 2nd place (1991)
  • 7th place 1992 Summer Olympics freestyle wrestling (100 kg class)

Mixed martial arts Edit

Mixed martial arts record Edit

Professional record breakdown
31  16 wins 10 losses
By knockout 4 3
By submission 8 5
By decision 4 2
Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 16-10 United States flag Randy Couture Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) UFC 109: Relentless 2010-02-06 2 1:09 United States flag Las Vegas, California Cut from the UFC following the loss
Win 16-9 United States flag Stephan Bonnar Decision (Unanimous) UFC 100 2009-07-11 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, California
Loss 15-9 Brazil flag Mauricio Rua TKO (Punches) UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson 2009-01-17 3 4:36 Ireland flag Dublin, Ireland Won Fight of the Night. Debut at 205 lb
Loss 15-8 Russia flag Fedor Emelianenko Submission (Armbar) PRIDE 32: The Real Deal 2006-10-21 2 1:15 United States flag Las Vegas, California
Win 15-7 Brazil flag Mauricio Rua TKO (Broken Arm) PRIDE 31: Unbreakable 2006-02-26 1 0:49 Japan flag Saitama, Japan
Win 14-7 Netherlands flag Milco Voorn Submission (Arm-Triangle) Bushido Europe-Rotterdam Rumble 2005-10-09 1 0:56 Netherlands flag Rotterdam, Netherlands
Loss 13-7 Croatia flag Mirko Filipović KO (Punches) PRIDE 29: Fists Of Fire 2005-02-20 1 3:40 Japan flag Saitama, Japan
Loss 13-6 Russia flag Fedor Emelianenko Submission (Armbar) Pride Total Elimination 2004 2004-04-25 3 4:33 Japan flag Saitama, Japan PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight GP Opening Round
Win 13-5 United States flag Don Frye Decision (Unanimous) PRIDE 26: Bad to the Bone 2003-06-08 3 5:00 Japan flag Yokohama, Japan
Loss 12-5 Brazil flag Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (Triangle/Armbar) PRIDE 16: Beasts From The East 2001-09-24 1 6:10 Japan flag Osaka, Japan
Win 12-4 Brazil flag Allan Goes TKO (Knees) PRIDE 13: Collision Course 2001-03-25 1 1:19 Japan flag Saitama, Japan
Win 11-4 Ukraine flag Igor Vovchanchyn Submission (Knees) Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals 2000-05-01 2 3:09 Japan flag Tokyo, Japan Won PRIDE 2000 Openweight GP Final
Win 10-4 Japan flag Kazuyuki Fujita TKO (Corner Stoppage) Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals 2000-05-01 1 0:02 Japan flag Tokyo, Japan PRIDE 2000 Openweight GP Semifinal
Win 9-4 Japan flag Akira Shoji Decision Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals 2000-05-01 1 15:00 Japan flag Tokyo, Japan PRIDE 2000 Openweight GP Quarterfinal
Win 8-4 Japan flag Masaaki Satake Submission (Neck Crank) Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round 2000-01-30 1 1:14 Japan flag Tokyo, Japan PRIDE 2000 Openweight GP Opening Round
Win 7-4 Brazil flag Ricardo Morais Decision Pride 8 1999-11-21 2 10:00 Japan flag Tokyo, Japan
Loss 6-4 Japan flag Nobuhiko Takada Submission (Heel Hook) Pride 5 1999-04-29 2 1:44 Japan flag Nagoya, Japan
Loss 6-3 Brazil flag Pedro Rizzo Decision (Split) UFC 18: Road to the Heavyweight Title 1999-01-08 1 15:00 United States flag New Orleans, Louisiana Left the promotion after the fight
Loss 6–2 United States flag Pete Williams KO (Head Kick) UFC 17: Redemption 1998-05-15 1 12:38 United States flag Mobile, Alabama
Loss 6–1 United States flag Maurice Smith Decision (Unanimous) UFC 14: Showdown 1997-07-27 1 21:00 United States flag Birmingham, Alabama Lost UFC Heavyweight title
Win 6–0 United States flag Dan Severn Submission (Neck Crank) UFC 12: Judgement Day 1997-02-07 1 2:57 United States flag Dothan, Alabama Won 1st UFC Heavyweight title
Win 5–0 United States flag Brian Johnston Submission (Strikes) UFC 11: The Proving Ground 1996-09-20 1 2:20 United States flag Augusta, Georgia Won UFC 11 Tournament
Win 4–0 United States flag Julian Sanchez Submission (Choke) UFC 11: The Proving Ground 1996-09-20 1 0:45 United States flag Augusta, Georgia
Win 3–0 United States flag Don Frye TKO (Strikes) UFC 10: The Tournament 1996-07-12 1 11:34 United States flag Birmingham, Alabama Won UFC 10 Tournament
Win 2–0 Canada flag Gary Goodridge Submission (Position) UFC 10: The Tournament 1996-07-12 1 7:00 United States flag Birmingham, Alabama
Win 1–0 Israel flag Moti Horenstein Submission (Strikes) UFC 10: The Tournament 1996-07-12 1 2:43 United States flag Birmingham, Alabama
Mark Coleman
Preceded by:
Don Frye
UFC logo Succeeded by:
Mark Coleman
UFC 10 Heavyweight Tournament Champion
July 12, 1996
Mark Coleman
Preceded by:
Mark Coleman
UFC logo Succeeded by:
Vitor Belfort
UFC 11 Heavyweight Tournament Champion
September 20, 1996
Mark Coleman
Preceded by:
UFC logo Succeeded by:
Maurice Smith
UFC Heavyweight Champion
February 7, 1997 – July 27, 1997
Mark Coleman
Preceded by:
PRIDE FC logo Succeeded by:
Wanderlei Silva
PRIDE Grand Prix Tournament Winner
May 1, 2000

External links Edit

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