According to a report on Knockout Radio, Mark "The Hammer" Coleman may be inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame at "Pride of a Champion" on March 1st in Columbus, OH. He would be just the fifth Hall of Fame inductee, after Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, and Randy Couture.
Generally credited with inventing "ground-and pound," former Olympic wrestler Mark Coleman began his MMA career in fearsome fashion, winning UFC 10‘s eight-man tournament via first-round stoppages of Moti Horenstein, Gary Goodridge, and Don Frye; winning UFC 11‘s tournament with quick submissions of Julian Sanchez and Brian Johnston; and becoming the UFC’s first-ever heavyweight champion by submitting Dan Severn at UFC 12. Though he lost his next four matches, he later became PRIDE’s first Grand Prix champion when he beat Akira Shoji by decision, won a default victory over Kazuyuki Fujita, and pounded out Igor Vovchanchyn in the same night (5/1/00).
Coleman fights less often now, but he hasn’t retired yet; his last match was a submission loss to Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE 32 in October 2006, and he currently enjoys popularity as a professional wrestler in Japan. Hopefully this will get the wheels on the UFC’s Hall of Fame train rolling a little faster. If Coleman and Couture can be members, surely Don Frye and Matt Hughes can get a little love. Unfortunately, Chuck Liddell’s birthday will be a national holiday before Tito Ortiz gets the honor…
(Props: MMA Mania)