One of the dominant forces of the early days of the UFC has announced his official retirement from mixed martial arts via Facebook. Mark Coleman, UFC Hall of Famer, says that he has to have a total hip replacement, bringing an official close to a career that hadn't seen him take a bout in over two years.
Here's the statement from Facebook:
Total Hip replacement next Monday. Ouch.
The hammer is done fighting. I know been done. Just looking for some prayers.
i thank everyone who will help me get through this. Have to pay to play sometimes. Only regret is could have worked harder.
Love you all live your dream.
Speaking personally, Coleman will always hold a bit of a special place. The first UFC tape I ever rented from the video store in my town was UFC 10, the event where Coleman stormed onto the scene, winning the eight man tournament with a finals victory over Don Frye. Something about seeing this beast of a man, seemingly straight out of the action movies of my youth, dominate other professional fighters was entirely captivating.
Then seeing his reign of terror ended at the hands of Maurice Smith, a much more "average" looking fighter with a kickboxing background gave the sense that anything could happen.
While his glory days came before the big MMA boom, Coleman is fully deserving of recognition as one of the sports early best, and completely deserving of his place in the UFC's Hall of Fame.