None of us who watched it could ever forget when former UFC and Pride champion Mark Coleman embraced his sobbing daughters in the ring after losing to Fedor Emelianenko in 2006 and reassured them that “daddy was alright.” Turns out, neither have his daughters. But, according to one of them, it wasn’t nearly the terrifying experience that we all assumed it to be.
“It was so fun out there…I don’t regret it at all,” Coleman’s daughter said during an interview for an HDNet Fights segment on her dad, which you can check out above.
Coleman was also interviewed, and teared up when talking about the moment and the criticism that he received for it. The idea that he had in some way traumatized his daughters by bringing them to the fight — then introducing them to the man who beat him up — is still hard for Coleman to swallow. “Being a dad was the most important thing to me in the world,” he said.
We can’t really blame Coleman for trying to do what he thought was best, especially since it doesn’t look like he did it flippantly; he was just shouting out to his daughters in the audience with the mic, and PRIDE officials apparently ushered them into the ring to make for “good” TV. At any rate, it’s nice to see that his daughters are rockstar athletes now, rather than rabid anti-MMA activists.