Longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Mark Coleman may be done fighting inside the Octagon, but the father of ground-and-pound has been taking on an entirely different battle for the past few months.
"The Hammer" was battling an infection following a second hip replacement surgery earlier this year. After having the infection removed, Coleman was given a temporary plastic fill-in until he undergoes yet another surgery for a new and improved hip.
And it's no secret medical procedures are far from cheap, which means Coleman has that battle on his hands, too. During a recent interview on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting), Mark talked about his recent setbacks and how he is getting through it with the help of friends and fans.
"I got a hip replacement surgery two years ago, it felt great, but some things went wrong down the line, it popped out 5-6 times after I did The Ultimate Fighter show. It was fine there and that was a great experience, but when I got back home, basically it was just popping out once a freaking week. ... I'm basically walking around scared to bend over, scared to do anything because of this thing. I finally get into the surgeon, and he decided he was going to not replace the whole hip that he did two years ago, he's going to replace the socket, bigger ball and socket."
"When he cut me open, basically he saw a big old mess of some sort of staph infection or whatever and it was everywhere. I need to get rid of infection so I can go back in there and put in a new hip that I can rehab, rebuild, and hopefully just get back to relatively normal life. Because there are a lot of people with hip replacements who did it right, who are doing great. I had some complications, I don't blame nobody, but no one knows how long infection was in there."
Coleman is still an admitted UFC fan and says he loves watching the younger athletes of today compete, but it's gut-wrenching at times, as he can't help but to wish he was years younger to get back into the action.
For now, Coleman will focus on rehabbing and trying to raise the funds to pay for his existing and upcoming medical costs. And thanks to the generosity of his fans and friends like Wes Sims, who started a GoFundMe account for Coleman without his knowledge, $45,000 has been raised to assist the MMA legend.
And while Mark is very grateful for all of the assistance, he says it's a position he hates being in; one caused by his poor financial decisions in the past.
"I don't like to be in this position. But I put myself in this position and that's a fact. I made some good money, but made some mistakes and put myself in this position. I didn't know it was going to be set up, but at that point, I'm in no position to say I don't want it. Proud man? I don't care. I'm grateful, thank you, maybe somehow I can return the favor to all these people, every one of them."
"I don't know what the minimum was, some people put $3 in there or maybe $5, maybe some $8 ones. You just gotta think, ‘Geez, you know that guy might have needed that more than I do.' For some reason, hopefully it's because I've been good to the fans. I like to call them friends because I'm a fan as well, when I meet somebody I try to treat them good and that's maybe why I did get that response."
"The Hammer" also revealed that his former PRIDE FC stablemate, Mark Hunt, donated $5,000 to the cause.
If you would like to help Coleman reach his $100,000 goal, click here.