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When Mark Coleman revisited heavyweight title loss to Maurice Smith at UFC 14 - "Most humbling night of my life"

Maurice Smith beats Mark Coleman to become UFC heavyweight champ [Photos via ufc.com]
Maurice Smith beats Mark Coleman to become UFC heavyweight champ [Photos via ufc.com]
Rafael Bandayrel

To commemorate Black History Month, the UFC shared a tribute video of Maurice Smith's victory over Mark Coleman during the broadcast of UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Strickland. The awe-inspiring homage had fans reminiscing about the night Smith defeated Coleman to become the first African-American UFC champion.

#AndNew Baddest Man on the 🌎!We look back at when Maurice Smith became champ. #BlackHistoryMonth https://t.co/HADAfrBYEk

Unfortunately, Smith wasn't present on social media to share his thoughts on his historic win at UFC 14 in 1997. However, fans got the next best thing when Coleman recalled the time he dropped the heavyweight title to Smith.

In October 2021, Coleman posted a throwback photo of himself making his walk to the octagon for his title defense against Smith. 'The Hammer' provided some insight by writing:

"The look of fake confidence. UFC [14] Maurice Smith whooped my ass most humbling night of my life. Prepare properly or lose! It’s Friday night I’m staying sober drink responsibly don’t drink and drive HammerHouse4Life Love you all."
The look of fake confidence. UFC 12 Maurice Smith whooped my ass most humbling night of my life. Prepare properly or lose! It’s Friday night I’m staying sober drink responsibly don’t drink and drive HammerHouse4Life Love you all. #UFC #MMA #Addiction #Rehab https://t.co/4JoAbHpct6
UFC 14 got my ass wupped. UFC 12 was awesome. Without sour the sugar is not so sweet!

Smith's contributions to the sport were recognized when he was inducted into the UFC Hall-of-Fame’s pioneer wing as part of its 2017 class. In a previous interview with MMA Junkie, Smith called his Hall-of-Fame nod the "greatest accomplishment" of his fighting career. He said:

"I was the first world-class striker to win a UFC title because I worked with great training partners to evolve into a well-rounded fighter. I’m proud of the titles I won in MMA, but helping advance the game toward the mixed martial arts of today is my greatest accomplishment in the sport."

Revisiting Mark Coleman vs. Maurice Smith at UFC 14

Maurice Smith made the most out of his promotional debut at UFC 14 in 1997. He faced inaugural UFC heavyweight titleholder Mark Coleman in a fight billed as a classic "striker vs. grappler" showdown.

Coleman gained the upper hand early on as Smith didn't have an answer to his takedown. 'The Hammer' successfully dragged his opponent to the ground and brutalized him with punches and headbutts for over nine minutes.

Jul27.199723 years ago today,Maurice Smith defeated Mark Coleman to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. https://t.co/bCQdrgQHPd

Smith managed to slip away and get back on his feet. Exhausted, Coleman didn't have the energy to mount any significant offense. At that point, 'Mo' had his way as he picked Coleman apart on the feet and even generated offense from his back. Smith claimed the belt by unanimous decision after a 21-minute battle.


Edited by David Andrew

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