Mark Coleman cut: 'We were looking at a potential death in the Octagon'

by Jonathan Snowd | source:

Last weekend Mark Coleman was good enough to main event UFC 109, taking on fellow veteran Randy Couture in the headline bout.  Today?  Deemed unworthy of a UFC contract.  Coleman, a former champion and Hall of Famer was unceremoniously cut from the roster.

It's a startling turn of events for a fighter heading home to finally celebrate Christmas with his daughters, another holiday missed preparing for a fight in the UFC Octagon.   Coleman is a guy who just missed the sport's big money era.  He never made the million dollar pay days Couture and others have enjoyed since the UFC rose to prominence in the last few years. When I talked to him this week he was still holding out hope, fantasizing about a win over Couture and a chance to hit that big score in a title fight with Lyoto Machida. 

Instead, he's a 45 year old man without a job.  In tough economic times.  With nothing on his resume except "cage fighter."  UFC officials think it is for the best.  No one, a UFC insider told me, wanted to let Coleman go.  But after Saturday's shellacking at the hands of Couture, there was a feeling that stepping back in the cage was not in Coleman's best interest.  "It's never easy for an athlete to hear it's over," a source close to the situation said. UFC officials felt, in good conscience, they couldn't let Coleman fight again. "We were looking at a potential death in the Octagon."

Coleman's situation is unique.  A main event fighter has never been cut from the UFC immediately following his headlining bout.  Top guys like Dan Henderson have left for other opportunities.  Josh Barnett was pushed out of the UFC in the wake of a drug scandal.  But simply cut?  Unprecedented.  Perhaps, however, it was for the best.  Coleman looked sad in the cage, scared and alone.  He was helpless at the hands of Couture and fans at home saw a broken man talking with Joe Rogan after the fight.  He seemed beaten down - it was hard seeing him that way after having just watched his incredible performance back at UFC 10.  Like Willie Mays stumbling around the Mets outfield or Brett Favre in Minnesota purple (Okay, that one turned out alright) our last image of Mark Coleman will be a battered shell of a man, desperately holding out hope for a final pay day. 

He was MMA's first.  There will be others.

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Recent Comments »

holly9000 site profile image  

2/12/10 1:01 PM by holly9000

Who cares?And lol@anyone being shocked by this. Coleman didn't belong back in the UFC in the first place. Dana got what he wanted from Coleman. You dipshits who bought into the bullshit hype paid for the PPV. Dana cleaned up once again and now he's cutting the dead weight. It's happened before, it will happen as long as you idiots keep paying for it to happen.

Boldar site profile image  

2/12/10 12:51 PM by Boldar

Hindsight lol. What it shows is that Coleman, despite all his credentials and past success, didn't show up on Saturday night. He talked the talked, supposedly trained well, but just didn't carry it forward into the Octagon. Had he at least made it competitive and gotten caught it'd be different, but he was steamrolled. This has ZERO to do with the UFC and they did exactly what they should do considering the circumstances.That said didn't Dana mention finding a role for Coleman to play in the UFC? I'm sure there's something for him to do.

JerodR site profile image  

2/12/10 11:19 AM by JerodR

Well first off styles make fights.. In this fight you had two very good wrestlers and they both decided not to wrestle. For Coleman he was as good as gone when he made that decision, because that is just what he does. Randy is a better all around Mixed Martial Artist so what happened was of no surprise. The part that I have the problem with is not that they let Coleman go. The part I have issues with is that they should have at least given him another fight after Randy. When you hype a guy so much and talk about the last two fights being Shogun (Which DW says he did good in but in all fairness Shogun went on to fight & some say beat Machida), and of course Stephan Bonnar in which he won. He put Coleman up on this perch and spoke of how great he was. Then Coleman loses and immediately he is gone? Not very smart getting rid of Coleman so quickly in my opinion. That is just showing that you cried wolf on your own hype. It shows you lied just to build a fight... Fans remember that kind of thing. No different than hearing about how great Tito feels and how good a shape he is in, only to hear about no training and being injured immediately after he loses.

catman site profile image  

2/12/10 1:48 AM by catman

Just goes to show what a joke the "main event" was.

jpm995 site profile image  

2/11/10 10:59 PM by jpm995

I agree with this. I would have felt better if he went down shooting or swinging, but he seemed nervous and hesitant even before the fight. Maybe if he lost trying to bring the fight to Coture he might not have been cut.

phix site profile image  

2/11/10 10:51 PM by phix

This!!!Who wants to see Coleman further tarnish his legacy??? I definitely don't. Think of it in the case of Roy Jones Jr. What does eveyone think of RJJ now? If he had hung the gloves up after beating Ruiz or the first Tarver fight, he'd be on the shortlist for GOAT. Even after the 1st Tarver loss, I had a very clear recollection of his greatness. Now, he's not even in the conversation.

mrzipplokk site profile image  

2/11/10 2:18 PM by mrzipplokk

 ^I agree. give him Dan Severn. I would have watched that.

CageReport site profile image  

2/11/10 2:01 PM by CageReport

 He should've been given at least one more fight so he could complete his 4 fight contract.

MMA Industries site profile image  

2/11/10 1:31 PM by MMA Industries

 Its a shame bc Coleman is an icon in the sport but he really looked old in that fight against Coutoure and you cant keep him on the roster just bc of his legendary status.


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