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The hullabaloo about Mark Coleman getting cut by UFC after main eventing the last PPV

By Zach Arnold | February 11, 2010

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I think the end result is the right call, but the process is a credibility hit for UFC in regards to them promoting Coleman in the main event slot. It’s also a hit to Keith Kizer (Nevada State Athletic Commission) because the commission, on paper, is the one calling the shots in licensing fighters over a certain age. Coleman was always a tough call on that front. I don’t blame Mark Coleman one bit for fighting — you make as much money as you can before you retire in this business.

Other news and notes

The Indianapolis Star has a profile article on Chris Lytle and his training has been like for him leading up to his February 20th fight against Brian Foster. The article is more about the story of Lytle’s current life and how much money he can make before his career is over.

Marty Morgan, who trains Brock Lesnar, says Cole Konrad could become a champion within the next couple of years.

The UFC 111 March event could be shown in movie theaters across the States.

Frank Trigg wonders what is next in his fight career. Matt Serra, who beat Trigg and sent him out of the UFC, will remain in the Welterweight division.

Jake Rosholt will fight in March at the Spirit Bank Event Center in Bixby, Oklahoma.

Michael Bisping has not been talking much trash about Wanderlei Silva in the media, so a lot of the attention on Bisping has been on his training camp for the UFC 110 fight. Despite beating Denis Kang a while back, Bisping is still answering media questions about his loss to Dan Henderson. I swear, that fight out of all the big fights at UFC 100 is the second-most talked about performance outside of Lesnar’s win over Frank Mir. Amazing.

Dan Hardy always seems to pick interesting sponsors. (Remember this growth hormone sponsor in the past?) He’s now aligned with Xyience. Yes, the same Xyience that has a bankruptcy trustee legally questioning the business behavior of Zuffa in the way Xyience assets were handled. Zombie Xyience will never go away, it seems, as a sponsor in UFC.

Stick to fighting, Chael Sonnen. You will be more bruised in politics than in UFC (and you get bruised quite a bit). Ask Matt Lindland.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 82 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

82 Responses to “The hullabaloo about Mark Coleman getting cut by UFC after main eventing the last PPV”

  1. Fluyid says:

    Does anyone have the quotes from Dana from back in 2006 when Coleman fought Fedor?

  2. Alan Conceicao says:

    Coleman’s cut? Sounds like Lashley has an opponent then. ROFL.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Don’t forget Walker…. Walker vs. Coleman on CBS….

  4. Fluyid says:

    “Walker vs. Coleman on CBS”

    LOL, perfect.

    Counter-programmed by Kimbo vs. Toney.

  5. Zack says:

    I actually think Lashley vs Coleman is logical.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Coleman is actually a good opponent for either Walker or Lashley. The problem for Strikeforce is that they can’t keep on signing former UFC fighters. It’s a no win situation. They need to build up their own talent and have them fight guys who have not fought in the UFC before. I know, easier said then done. And it’s a double bad for Lashley since Coleman has been competing at LHW and Lashley is a big Heavyweight.

    Coleman will either be fighting Walker or Lashley next or fighting in the DREAM LHW GP. He really needs to retire…. He had no business as a UFC main eventer in 2010.

  7. The Gaijin says:

    45 is right – you make yourself look second rate by continually taking cast offs from a different organization. The big hit would be if Coleman were to beat Lashley (much lesser in regards to Walker), since you’d have casual fans saying “He can’t even beat an old dude that got cut from the UFC, these guys are minor leaguers.”

    Granted there are certain exceptions. You take a guy that didn’t get a whole lot of press/buzz, were relatively young and inexperienced and/or have him change divisions. Then you rebuild them into someone who makes their name under your banner, not someone whose reputation came from the organization “they couldn’t hack it in”.

  8. mattio says:

    Isn’t that pathetic that Dana is saying Randy is a top 5 light-heavyweight when he booked him in a match against a guy he planned on releasing if he did not beat Randy? I think it is. The only people who hear those type of interviews are the informed, so Dana is treating them like they are 2 years old when he says shit like that.

    The UFC treats 98 percent of their fighters the same, with no coddling or protecting, but the remaining 2 percent of their fighters get gimme fights all the time, especially after losing.

    Why protect a guy who gets a small fortune from you every time he fights? Throw him to the wolves and see if he’s really as good as the press releases make him out to be. We all know he’s not. He wouldn’t be taking on guys like Vera and Coleman if he was.

  9. Alan Conceicao says:

    Couture wasn’t being protected when he fought Vera. Further, they give him fights like Coleman because they make money, and future fights (like against Machida, for instance) will make even more money.

    Think where the UFC would be without Randy – he has headlined 3 of the last 8 numbered UFCs.

  10. NOS says:

    Curious… has Xyience ever sponsored a fighter who was outside the UFC?

  11. Detective Roadblock says:

    I’m pretty sure the Coleman fight was simply meant to pad Randy’s resume. Though if Coleman had won you could do him vs Shogun again. Or even Machida.

    If my math is correct Randy has 3 fights left (or is it 4?). He has been fighting roughly every 90 days. At that rate he will be a free agent again by this time next year. So now begins the Randy Couture goodbye jobber tour. He won two in a row so he is marketable again. But now he is going to get unwinnable fights against Rashad and Rampage (he’ll fight the winner of their fight then the loser) and then he’ll get thrown to Bones Jones or another aggressive KO artist. Otherwise UFC runs the risk of him fighting Fedor with relevancy.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    Couture has a chance against Rampage. I would actually pick Couture over Rampage.

    Styles make fights. Rampage would get pushed up against the fence for 3 rounds and probably taken down a few times as well.

    Couture would lose to Rashad and Machida without question….

  13. edub says:

    I dont think Coleman should have been in the main event either, but lets realize why he was cut. Its not because he was beat by Couture. Its because he was thoroughly dominated, and he could barely throw a punch. He looked significantly worse than he did vs. Shogun or Bonnar and he didnt exactly look like a world beater against them.

    Styles do make fights, and Randy has the game to give anyone in the 205lb division fits. Shogun and Machida have no greco background, and Rashad has been pushed around before(see Tito fight). The one person I cant see him beating is Rampage. Hendo is a better greco guy than Couture and Rampage outwrestled him. I think Rampage would put Randy away in the second with a save right or left hook. Against the rest of the top 5 I think Randy has a real shot.

  14. Mark says:

    I really don’t care, but I don’t agree with the Coleman firing. He nearly beat the guy who unofficially beat Machida, beat Bonnar, and you fire him for his first big loss? Shouldn’t Randy have been fired for losing to Nogueira by that logic? Or is this possibly some vindictive maneuvering for not being Tito’s sacrificial return lamb and really screwing up his star power?

    But yeah, he’ll go to Strikeforce for decent money. But people complaining about “it’s another example of Strikeforce signing a UFC fighter instead of making their own stars” are missing the point. It’s about giving credibility if their fighter (be it Rogers, Silva, Lashley or Walker) beats the “name”. No different than dragging Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock back into UFC to give Hughes and Ortiz a rub. Is that respectable? No, because the younger fighters are heavily favored. But to say it’s ok for UFC when they were still an upstart v2.0 company to do it but Strikeforce cannot is very hypocritical. You use a name to draw eyes, hope your guy wins and people now see your homegrown star as legitimate now. If not, Plan B is to then market the ex-UFC fighter as being relevant again. All sports have done this for generations.

  15. JRN says:

    I don’t really understand this idea that it makes Strikeforce looks bad to sign ex-UFC fighters. It makes them look second-rate? They are second rate. You know how you become first-rate? By signing good fighters!

    The people who would hold Strikeforce in contempt for signing ex-UFC guys are either UFC-only fans who wouldn’t be watching anyway, or hardcore fans who will be watching anyway. SF wouldn’t lose anything by signing a guy like Thales Leites.

    Now, if they’re trying to save their money by instead focusing on good upcoming prospects… well, they’re not doing a good job of that either. Seems like every other week some guy Strikeforce should have gotten winds up in Bellator or Shine Fights.

  16. Steve4192 says:

    “Curious… has Xyience ever sponsored a fighter who was outside the UFC?”


    I am in the process of watching torrents of all the old pre-Zuffa WEC events and Xyience is all over the mat and all over the fighters from about WEC 10 forward.

  17. Brad Wharton says:

    I think more than anything it’s a case of the UFC’s marketing of Coleman coming back to bite them on the ass.

    The terms ‘Legend’ and ‘Godfather of Ground ‘n’ Pound’ were thrown around with reckless abandon. It’s easy to see how fairweather fans have Coleman on some kind of pedestal and why those people ae upset at his supposed “mistreatment”.

  18. Brad Wharton says:

    In other news…looks like Belfort is out of the 112 main event.

    Anyone think Sonnen will step in?

  19. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Sonnen won’t get cleared in time due to that cut.

    I wonder if UFC will do some hot shot booking and start jobbing Randy by putting him against Silva.

    That’s a promotable fight.

    If Randy pulls a miracle and wins then you have no problem putting him vs Machida/Shogun winner. If he loses you let him fight the Rashad/Rampage loser.

  20. Zack says:

    “Think where the UFC would be without Randy – he has headlined 3 of the last 8 numbered UFCs.”

    Yep. Imagine if he and Tito actually took a stand.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    Sorry – my point wasn’t that I personally think it’s a bad idea or that I take that stance that they are second-rate.

    But, I do think that the casual “UFC”-fan (those are the ones they are trying to get some eyes from) DOES actually think that signing a guy that gets cut from the UFC makes them second-tier. And having a fighter lose to that fighter verifies that notion.

  22. The Gaijin says:

    Sheesh – Silva would have been almost a year to the day since his last title defence and he doesn’t have many fight options with Sonnen on the shelf.

    The UFC is having an awful tough time putting together timely title defences:

    HW: 7 months & counting (July 11/9 – ?)
    LHW: ~7 months (Oct. 24/09 – May 8/10)
    MW: 1 year (Apr. 18/09 – Apr. 12/09)
    WW: 8+ months (July 11/09 – Mar. 29/10)

    BJ is the only guy that’s going along at a decent clip…hopefully at least he can stay healthy.

  23. JRN says:

    In the eyes of the hypothetical UFC fan, is a guy who used to be in the UFC but now isn’t really any worse from some guy he’s flat-out never heard of? Neither one is a guy this fan currently wants to watch. If those guys start having good fights, that might change.

    Sooner or later, it comes down to the quality of the shows themselves. Signing good fighters increases the chances of having good shows. From this, I conclude that Strikeforce should sign all the best fighters they can, regardless of past organizational affiliation. Q.E.D.!

  24. grafdog says:

    Complete multilevel blow job.

    To even a fair weather ufc fan, this move comes off as hypocritical considering Bonner is still fighting for them.
    Even someone who has never watched the ufc would say that’s a terrible way to treat a legend who helped to build the ufc.
    Mma fans knows coleman is a B or C grade fighter, and Coleman has a 50/50 shot at beating “T-head” if they fought.

    Hopefully strikeforce will jump on this opportunity get a ufc legends tournament together with these ufc legends who are still fighting, but not for the ufc… Ken vs tank, Marco vs Don, Oleg vs Mark, Pat vs Dan etc…

  25. Mr.Roadblock says:

    grafdog, that tournament idea is a troll-job, right? I mean you’re laughing as you wrote that, aren’t you?

    JRN, in terms of putting on a fun to watch show, you are correct. But the problem with using UFC castoffs is that if they beat your new guy it kills his rep.

    If you have two guys that nobody has ever heard of, let’s say Mr. A & Mr. B, and one wins by spectacular KO fans will be impressed. “Oh man, did you see Mr. A kick Mr. B’s head clean off?”

    This can work too if you bring in a UFC guy and he loses. “Oh man did you see Mr. A beat up that guy who used to be in UFC?” It can build a reputation. But the negative side, “Oh man Mr. A lost to that bum who lost all those UFC fights.”

    You have a lot of guys out there Brett Rogers (before he fought Arlovski), Zaromskis, Mousasi, Jake Shields who have reps by beating guys nobody every heard of. When Mousasi beats Babalu some fans say, “see he’s really awesome” but other fans say, “well, Babalu isn’t very good.” If Babalu had won, you might as well have written “sucks ass” on Mousasi’s head in Sharpie as far as about 90% of fans are concerned.

    Frank Trigg would be a great guy for SF to bring in and build him to a fight with Diaz. But the problem is it kills Diaz (who is already a UFC cast-off) if he loses to Trigg and thereby weakens the entire division.

  26. 45 Huddle says:

    Can Sonnen fight despite being on medical suspension until March 24th?

    It’s either him or Damien Maia. Both would be legit challengers.

    Looking at UFC 112…. The card is crap outside of the 3 big fights. They can’t really afford to lose Anderson Silva from the card. So he either needs to fight Sonne/Maia, or they need to find a LHW to fight him.

  27. Alan Conceicao says:

    “Think where the UFC would be without Randy – he has headlined 3 of the last 8 numbered UFCs.”
    Yep. Imagine if he and Tito actually took a stand.

    He’s making plenty. I’m sure Randy isn’t complaining.

  28. Alan Conceicao says:

    Let’s get some basics down guys; Did Coleman deserve to be in a main event? Probably not. Does his performance against Couture prove he doesn’t belong in the UFC anymore? Effectively, yes. Should the UFC keep him around as a charity case? Not their problem. I’m fine with them cutting Coleman loose. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone except a couple internet fans.

    If Strikeforce signs him, well, its a guy that just main evented a UFC that no one watched. He’s a better option than Wes Sims for someone like Lashley. Do I really care if I see that fight? Not really.

  29. JRN says:

    The neat thing about signing fighters to contracts is that once you’ve done so, they become “your guy”!

    MMA fans have proven two things over and over: they have short memories, and they can be made not to care about records when the fights are good.

    If an “outside guy” (who is in fact not an outside guy at all) comes in and beats a name Strikeforce fighter, well, all it takes is maybe one or two more wins after that and you can sell him as improved, rejuvenated, the best he’s been in his career. The holes in his game that plagued him before are gone. Etc.

    If Babalu had beaten Mousasi, that would have been fine. Babalu was the defending champ, remember? And Mousasi is the youngster with a wealth of international experience. Easy to sell that as a good win for Babalu and build to a rematch. The people that would be turned off by that one fight result aren’t sticking around anyway, because you can’t micromanage every fight result to please them.

    And seriously, if you’re banking everything on guys that aren’t good enough to beat mid-to-top-level fighters, then you’re doomed anyway. Refusing to sign good fighters because they used to be in the UFC is just a bad strategy from every angle.

    PS: Bringing in Trigg for an immediate title shot would be the wrong way to play it. I realize Diaz needs challengers, but Trigg has lost two straight. That’s a guy you have fight Riggs and/or Zaromskis, and either build either one of them if he loses, or do the whole he’s-better-than-before routine if he wins. THEN cue the title shot.

    There’s also a lot to be said, should Trigg not retire, for moving back up to middleweight. You could sell him as a guy who couldn’t comfortably make the cut to 170 anymore, he’s 7-1 at MW, potential rematches with Mayhem (who he beat) and Lawler (who he lost to)… there are good options for Trigg in Strikeforce, and an immediate shot at Diaz isn’t one of them.

    tl ; dr

  30. Steve4192 says:

    People really need to stop throwing around the Bonnar strawman. Dana has said on many occasions that Bonnar has a job for life due to his part in the most important fight in the history of the UFC. He will never get cut.

    Bonnar’s presence has absolutely no impact whatsoever on the Coleman decision.

  31. Zack says:

    “But the problem is it kills Diaz (who is already a UFC cast-off) if he loses to Trigg and thereby weakens the entire division.”

    You realize Nick’s last two fights in the UFC were wins right?

  32. Zack says:

    To Alan in post 28…my point is that Tito/Randy headlined 1/2 of the last 8 PPVs right? Well if either of those guys actually didn’t come back to the UFC like they originally said, it would’ve been interesting to see what the main events would’ve been. 4 more Rashad/Thiago main events could’ve been a disaster.

  33. EJ says:

    The fact is that hypothetical is really meaningless since both Randy and Tito are being paid very well in the UFC so the chances of them ever leaving were slim to none in the first place.

    If they did them someone else would have main evented, let’s not act like Tito or Randy has been making huge buyrates in their last couple of fights. But they both play nice roles in the UFC and benefit each other so in the end everything for both sides worked out fine.

  34. 45 Huddle says:

    This is why the UFC main eventers are paid so well…. The UFC has a real need for them…

    Dana White is saying Anderson Silva is still on the UFC 112 card, and will be fighting at Middleweight.

    Personally, I think a fight with Maia or Sonnen is a respectable title fight. Anybody else I can’t really say that….

  35. Alan Conceicao says:

    Silva is going to have to be on that card. Its not a choice for the UFC. Pull him off that double bill with Penn and ask him to headline a PPV by himself again, and I bet the elbow suddenly acts up.

  36. Alan Conceicao says:

    Sherdog sez Mousasi has broken with M-1 Global and has new management already. Does M-1 have anyone even halfway relevant other than Fedor now?

    In other M-1 not-so-newsy-news, the M-1 Challenge this year has a whole helluva lot less teams. I’m sure the people of Turkey are really bummed that their perennial losers are no longer participating in that tourney. At least KOTC has a deal with HDNet to pick up the slack of M-1’s crappy fights this year.

  37. Fluyid says:

    “Can Sonnen fight despite being on medical suspension until March 24th?”

    The question (imo) is more whether he can get an adequate training camp in, working around that cut. He probably can’t.

  38. Alan Conceicao says:

    The question (imo) is more whether he can get an adequate training camp in, working around that cut. He probably can’t.

    But will that matter? He might not get a title shot if he doesn’t take this one.

  39. Mark says:

    It depends on the fighter. Of course if they put out a press release saying “OMG U GUYZ WE JUST SIGNED CABBAGE! YOU’RE IN TROUBLE NOW DANA!” they’d look like complete idiots. But Babalu did headline one of the first 5 successful UFC PPVs against Liddell so just because he never reached #1 contender heights again doesn’t mean people don’t think he’s a name. When was the last time Ken Shamrock did anything impressive before fighting Tito the first or second time? Not comparing Bablu’s starpower to Shamrock’s, nor Ortiz’s rub to Gegard Mousasi’s. But to say the win did nothing for him is just plain wrong.

    And now that Mousasi is supposedly done with M-1 I’m sure he’ll be in the UFC by next year and suddenly he’ll be fawned upon by everybody here instantly.

  40. Steve4192 says:

    “And now that Mousasi is supposedly done with M-1 I’m sure he’ll be in the UFC by next year and suddenly he’ll be fawned upon by everybody here instantly.”

    Only half true.

    All of the people who have spent the last year mocking him and his accomplishments will suddenly be fawning over him. That much is true.

    But all of the folks who spent the last year talking him up will abandon him the moment he signs a contract with the evil empire.

    Such is the nature of MMA fandom

  41. Alan Conceicao says:

    But all of the folks who spent the last year talking him up will abandon him the moment he signs a contract with the evil empire.

    Is there even an example of this ever happening? My memory of Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage, etc. signing with the UFC was that PRIDE’s fanboys were stoked as hell.

  42. The Gaijin says:

    “But all of the folks who spent the last year talking him up will abandon him the moment he signs a contract with the evil empire.”

    Total crock – as evidenced by the examples @42. Anderson Silva and Nog, also come to mind.

  43. edub says:

    “Is there even an example of this ever happening? My memory of Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage, etc. signing with the UFC was that PRIDE’s fanboys were stoked as hell.”

    Don’t remember it either. The only thing I ever remember is guys talking about Pride guys getting exposed when they came to the UFC. Which I don’t agree with at all. I just think certain fighters have a hard time against certain styles. Like I wouldnt bet on Forrest if they had a second fight because of Shogun’s obvious injury in the first, but I still think he would have a good shot at beating him because of the style and size contrast.Same thing goes with Rampage and Liddell. Tight boxing and the willingness to stay in the pocket make Jackson a horrifying matchup for whatever Liddell shows up.

  44. Ed says:

    Akiyama and Gomi still have legions of followers among the anti-UFC contingent. I don’t think they lost any members of their bandwagons after signing with the UFC.

    Dan Henderson, on the other hand, is apparently now a has-been ducker of tough fights looking for easy paydays now that he’s with Strikeforce.

  45. 45 Huddle says:

    Well, fighting Marquardt then Silva is much harder then fighting Shields and Mousasi…

  46. edub says:

    “Well, fighting Marquardt then Silva is much harder then fighting Shields and Mousasi…”

    Man you are obviously a UFC nuthugger for saying something like that….
    this site is pretty funny.

    There isn’t even a guarantee that Hendo fights Mousasi if he beats Shields.

  47. Alan Conceicao says:

    Well, fighting Marquardt then Silva is much harder then fighting Shields and Mousasi…

    But Meltzer says that Silva wasn’t going to give Henderson a rematch…So I guess Henderson should have fought Marqhardt and TBD instead?

  48. The Gaijin says:

    Yeah – I’m sure he was quaking in his boots to fight a guy that got utterly tooled by Chael fuckin’ Sonnen.


  49. 45 Huddle says:

    You can call me names…. But Marquardt/Silva combo is tougher then a Shields/Mousasi combo. There isn’t even much debate on the issue.


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