One of the most iconic images in mixed martial arts history is the shot of Mark Coleman, face swollen from a beating at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko, trying to console his terrified daughter in the ring. It was a moment that led to a significant amount of backlash for Coleman as any felt that he "traumatized" his daughters by both letting them watch him take a beating and by bringing them into the ring directly afterward.
It's one of many subjects tackled in an Inside MMA segment with "The Hammer." Here's the video:
Here's what Mark had to say about the night of the PRIDE loss to Fedor and subsequent situation with his children:
It was a tough night because I took a lot of criticism from a lot of fans and a lot of professionals, claiming that I traumatized my daughters. At the time, being a dad was the most important thing to me. I just remember very clearly, I don't mind losing, I just don't wanna hurt my kids. You know? To turn around and see my kids right there I had to immediately turn into a father.
Coleman's daughter Morgan's thoughts and more after the jump...
Morgan Coleman on the situation:
It was just kind of a moment from being thrown in so fast. Everyone thinks it's his fault, but I would have found out about it sooner or later. So, it's honestly not his fault at all. It was honestly the time of my life because it was so fun out there. So I honestly don't regret that at all.
Like it was a sad moment, but it was a great moment in time too. Just knowing he fought one of the best fighters in the world. Fedor Emelianenko? He's crazy, he's what's up.
I never really understood the backlash that stemmed from the situation. Had Mark somehow done the unthinkable and won we'd have talked about the great moment he shared in the ring with his children. They were there to see their father in action, something they deserved to be able to have a memory of.
Given that he took a beating and looked horrible, the best thing to do in that situation is to explain to the kids "yeah, it looks bad, but dad is fine." They were there, rushing them away and not allowing them to come to quick terms with the fact that their dad was okay and that it was just some swelling may have been more damaging.
It's a truly touching moment that really brought home the fact that these are human beings with families, not just beasts trotted out to do battle for the amusement of the masses.