Dana white says Coleman is done
- DANA WHITE SAYS MARK COLEMAN IS PROBABLY DONE
Sunday, February 07, 2010 - by Ken Pishna - MMAWeekly.com
LAS VEGAS – “I think tonight was probably (Mark) Coleman’s last fight in the UFC.”
Those were the words of UFC president Dana White following Randy Couture’s domination of his fellow Hall of Famer at UFC 109 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Giving Coleman due credit for back-to-back strong performances against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Stephan Bonnar, White still couldn’t help but put the first UFC heavyweight champion’s Saturday night performance in perspective.
“Mark Colemna’s always been a stand-up guy with me and he’ll always be a part of this organization. I just think he’ll have a hard time competing with the guys at the top of the level,” said the outspoken executive.
“Age is a factor for him.”
Leading up to UFC 109, you got the sense that this wasn't just a novelty act for Coleman. He put a lot of pressure on himself, not doing much to hide the fact that it was a pivotal point in his career.
“He said it best at the press conference. He said, ‘Randy Couture’s accomplished a lot of things, has a lot of things, and I want to take some of those things from him Saturday night,’” recounted White. “And he went in there and he wasn’t able to do anything. He didn’t get off. Randy pretty much beat him everywhere.”
Of course, White has written the ending for other fighters before Coleman, only to have what he thought was the final draft sent back for a re-write.
Chuck Liddell immediately comes to mind.
“Is a fighter ever accepting, or any top athlete? It’s tough to say it’s over and I gotta hang it up,” White said about whether he felt Coleman would be accepting of his opinion that the end was here.
“It’s the hardest thing in the world and I hate dealing with it. It sucks.”
There are always opportunities out there for fights that sell themselves, even if you think Coleman can’t compete at the highest levels anymore. Not every fight has lead down the road to a title shot.
Tito Ortiz – who has some past heat with Coleman due to Coleman pulling out of their scheduled fight at UFC 106 – seized a moment of disarray and called Coleman out as he was doing his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan in the Octagon.
Would White reconsider lowering the curtain on Coleman for a grudge match with Ortiz? Don’t bet on it.
“I don’t know. Tito’s a lot younger than him. Tito’s talking (expletive) to Coleman after Coleman just lost this fight that he’s wanted his whole life. And Tito’s fighting Chuck,” mulled White before declaring, “I’m not even thinking about Tito/Coleman.”
If the Octagon door does close on Coleman’s career, there should be no head hanging from the decorated athlete. He won two UFC tournaments in 1996 before capturing the first UFC heavyweight championship the following year. He moved on to Pride Fighting Championships in Japan, winning that promotion’s Open Weight Grand Prix tournament in 2000.
Prior to mixed martial arts, Coleman also earned numerous accolades in wrestling. He won the NCAA national championship in college, placed second in the 1991 world championships, and seventh in the 1992 Summer Olympics.