UFC 10: What happened when Mark Coleman debuted in UFC?

Mark Coleman: Impressed at UFC 10
Mark Coleman: Impressed at UFC 10
Paul Benson

"The Hammer" Mark Coleman entered the Octagon for the first time as UFC reverted back to the tournament format for UFC 10 after it exclusively put on singles bouts at UFC 9.

Coleman, an Olympic alternate and Silver Medallist at the 1991 World Championships in Freestyle Wrestling was an exciting prospect in UFC and was expected to do well. He did.

Coleman immediately shot for a double leg takedown and got the mount and pounded away on his first round opponent, Moti Horenstein. The Israeli quickly tapped out amid the onslaught of punches. A hugely impressive debut for Coleman.

"Bid Daddy" Gary Goodridge returned to the Octagon and took on fellow giant, John Campetella in an old-school slugfest. Camptella landed some heavy blows before Goodridge cleverly rolled through into the mount and pounded away with big left hands. Your winner by Knockout: "Big Daddy."

UFC tournament winner, Don Frye had the crowd in the palm of his hands as he took on the "Giant Killer" Mark Hall in an interesting change of pace for both men who were used to taking on much larger foes. This was the biggest test of Frye's UFC career. It was a much slower pace than usual from him, however, he still did his fair share of damage, making a right mess of Hall's ribs as the entire side of his body turned purple thanks to Frye's relentlessly stiff shots.

Referee, "Big" John McCarthy mercifully stepped in to end the fight and save Hall's rib cage from any further damage for the stoppage finish.

The final first round bout saw Brian Johnstone submit Scott Fiedler in the battle of the Kickboxers, after Johnstone had successfully blocked a rear naked choke attempt before unloading with unanswered punches.

The first Semi-Final clash pitted Frye against Johnstone. Frye took the six feet four inch Johnstone down into side mount and exploded with vicious elbows to earn the tap out.

Coleman met Goodridge in a battle between wrestler and striker. Coleman looked every bit the superstar as he outmuscled Goodridge, utilising all his grappling skills to control his opponent throughout the seven-minute contest before securing the submission due to exhaustion on Goodridge's part. "Big Daddy" simply could not live with Coleman's lively grappling and gassed.

So, the UFC tournament final came down to the two best fighters in the competition. It was an intriguing battle between two men who could both wrestle and strike. Coleman's greater wherewithal and positioning meant he was always able to inflict the more damage in the clinch and through his striking.

However, Frye was never out of the fight and it was a thrilling ebb and flow contest. Ultimately, it was to be "The Hammer" who would earn the TKO and inflict upon Frye, his first ever MMA career defeat.

The UFC had a new superstar. The Mark Coleman era had begun.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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