Retired UFC Fighter Mark Coleman Fighting for His Life After Rescuing Parents From House Fire

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
March 13, 2024Sports News
Retired UFC Fighter Mark Coleman Fighting for His Life After Rescuing Parents From House Fire
UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman gestures during the weigh-in ahead of his UFC 109 fight against Randy Couture in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, 2010. (Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Former UFC star Mark Coleman is fighting for his life after saving his parents from a house fire in Toledo, Ohio, early Tuesday, his daughter Morgan wrote on Instagram.

“As many know, our dad was involved in a house fire early this morning,” she wrote. “He managed to carry both of his parents out of the house but despite his best efforts was not able to save Hammer.”

According to Mr. Coleman’s manager, Michael DiSabato, the fire originated in the kitchen around 4 a.m. The family’s dog, Hammer, woke up Mr. Coleman, who immediately rushed his father and then his mother out of the burning building.

He then returned to rescue the dog, but by then, smoke had filled the building, and Mr. Coleman had to abort. The dog died in the fire.

The roof of the house collapsed just when firefighters arrived.

By this time, Mr. Coleman had collapsed from the effects of smoke inhalation and was rushed to hospital by helicopter, where he was put in an induced coma in intensive care.

“Our father has always been our hero and means the world to us. He is and always will be a fighter,” daughter Morgan wrote. “The strongest and bravest man I know. Please continue to pray for him and our family during this extremely difficult time. We will miss our sweet hammer so deeply.”

Mr. DiSabato told NBC that despite the intense medical attention, the family has high hopes that he will recover.

“If anyone can beat back death itself, it’s Mark,” Jonathan Snowden, author of the MMA Encyclopedia, wrote on social media platform X, who said they were close to doing a book deal together.

Mr. Coleman’s heroic act earned him well-deserved praise.

“This is such a Mark thing to do, this man is an absolute Legend and forever cemented his legacy as a true warrior inside and outside of the cage,” wrote Michael Guymon, a retired mixed martial arts fighter, on X. “Love you brother.”

Mr. Coleman’s mother, Connie, seemed hopeful on Facebook late Tuesday: “Thank God we are alive. Prayers for Mark! Thank you to all the firefighters. And sheriff’s dept. EMS Red Cross. and especially my family. Could not do this without you! Love you all!”

She also thanked the response from fans and acquaintances: “The hundreds of text, messages and phone calls it is truly heartwarming.”

Mr. Coleman, a Fremont, Ohio, native, started wrestling as a teenager, won an NCAA championship at Ohio State in 1988, and ranked seventh in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, wrestling for the U.S.

He joined the UFC early on and became the tournament’s first Heavyweight Champion in 1997.

He retired with a 16-10 record and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008.

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