- MARK COLEMAN READY FOR RETURN TO UFC

July 28, 2007
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by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com


Mark Coleman, a fighter that first stepped foot in the UFC Octagon more than a decade ago, may not go down as one of the more dominating fighters in MMA history, but he surely will always be a significant piece of the puzzle. If not for his pioneering ground and pound style that led him to two UFC tournament championships, a win over Dan Severn to become the first UFC heavyweight beltholder, and capturing the first Pride Grand Prix title, the current MMA landscape may not be dominated by heavyweight enigma Fedor Emelianenko.


With an 4-4 record in his past eight bouts, including two losses to Fedor, Coleman hasn’t maintained the influence of the early days of his career, but he hasn’t hung up the gloves yet. In fact, he still has two fights left on his current Pride contract and with the buyout of that organization by Zuffa, it sounds as if Coleman sees a possible return to his old stomping grounds in the near future.


“I’ve always wanted to get back in that cage and I always knew I’d get back in there at least one more time. That’s were I got started. I like the cage and I like the UFC rules better anyways,” said Coleman, obviously in reference to the brutal forearms and elbows he was so famous for. “I can be more effective in the cage than I was in the ring.”


In a recent interview with MMAWeekly’s Scott Petersen, Coleman expounded upon a possible return to the Octagon and his desire to do so.


Saying, “I’m still improving” and “on any given day, victory is within your grasp,” Coleman believes that a fight with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture would be a good match-up for him.


It could be argued that Couture has been more relevant to today’s mixed martial arts’ scene, but looking at the fight on paper they are roughly the same age, currently have identical 15-8 professional records, started their MMA careers in the UFC within a year of each other, and come from strong wrestling backgrounds. With the strong name recognition of each, it might be a fight that a segment of fans would want to see, although Coleman would likely have to take another fight in the UFC first. And that is all banking on the fact that Zuffa is willing bring him back to the Octagon.


Interestingly, Coleman is also the subject of a new movie that is readying for production. Entitled “The Smashing Machine,” the same as the movie about his friend Mark Kerr, it sounds as if Jean-Claude Van Damme could be portraying the former UFC and Pride champion… an “interesting” choice that Coleman even seems to find odd.


For more on Coleman’s possible return to the UFC, the movie, and his participation in the Japanese professional wrestling promotion Hustle, check out the full video interview In The Cage with Mark Coleman.


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