Mark "The Hammer" Coleman is the UFC's first heavyweight champion, the inventor of ground and pound and and a certified Hall of Famer. A true legend of the sport. Wanna hear the sad part?
Mark Coleman is broke.
So broke, that he had to open a fundraiser called "Save the Hammer" on gofundme.com now, to gather money for a much needed hip surgery in April. According to the fundraiser text, his already replaced hip popped out after filming The Ultimate Fighter season 19 last year. Coleman lived with the dysfunctional hip for over a year, until a bad infection hospitalized him a few weeks ago. The UFC legend is currently still hospitalized with a plastic hip, until the surgery can be performed.
Here's the full text:
"First UFC Heavyweight Champion, Hall of Famer and "The God Father of Ground and Pound" Mark "The Hammer" Coleman's retirement from the sport he loved and gave us so many memories has not been very nice to him as of yet. ark had a hip replacement in 2013 and after surgery was named Wrestling Coach for Team Penn on Season 19 The Ultimate Fighter. After filming and returning home his hip popped out several times and pain began on the other side. He has struggled with and lived with the pain for well over a year and became very ill a couple weeks ago. He was taken to hospital doctor checked him out and had to stay for four days on antibiotics, when released he went to see hip doctor again and scheduled to have surgery on March 9th, only to discover while open on operating table he was full of infection and very close to being septic and lucky to have caught this! He is currently in hospitalized with a plastic hip until full surgery can be perofrmed in April. Mark currently has no income. His insurance is about to end, and we are currently looking into disability. I am looking to raise funds to help his cost of living, doctor bills, medication, and make up what he will lose in the next few months in appearances he will miss. Anything will help and thank you dearly! God Bless!"
60 donations have been gathered over the first 16 hours, with a total of $2,970 donated. Coleman needs $20,000 for the surgery.
UPDATE at 9:30 PM ET: The goal amount has been increased to $500,000.
We have increased our goal amount due to recent conversations with the medical professional/home care professional about the cost of medical services that Mark has already encountered and will continue to receive.
Mark Coleman made his first Octagon appearance at UFC 10 in 1996 and helped building the era of the dominant wrestlers in the UFC, that finally found a way to deal with the slick BJJ guys, by holding them down and attacking them with ground and pound - a term that Coleman coined.
Over the course of his career, "The Hammer" fought a total of 26 fights, exclusively in the UFC and PRIDE FC. He had his last fight in 2010, at UFC 109, a technical-submission defeat at the hands of fellow Hall of Famer Randy Couture.