Former (and first-ever) UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman, who also captured the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Championship in 2000, was forced to retire from mixed martial arts (MMA) following hip replacement surgery.
"The Godfather of Ground-and-Pound," however, is slowly getting back to his feet.
In part because of the generous combat sports fans who assisted "The Hammer" with his medical expenses. That's why Coleman took the time to thank everyone who helped him during his time of need.
His heartfelt words to My MMA News:
"Thanks to everybody at the Go Fund Me page who helped, donated, and helped me get through this. I can't thank you all personally, but hopefully you somehow get this message. Anybody, I don't care if they gave a dollar or to what Mark Hunt did, he put $5000 in that Go Fund Me page. It's awesome. I was good friends with him over in Japan, and what a nice guy. But everybody, even down to a dollar or two dollars, thank you very much. It meant a lot to me, I was emotionally overwhelmed."
See Hunt's extremely generous donation here.
While Coleman is getting his hip problems in check, the 48-year-old combatant did reveal arthritis is now causing him back problems.
Still, the legendary hall-of-famer says he wouldn't take anything back, as he declared that nothing compares to getting his hand raised in victory in both wrestling and MMA.