This Month’s MMA Birthdays: Mark Coleman Turns 50

By Brian Knapp Dec 1, 2014
Mark “The Hammer” Coleman turns 50 on Dec. 20. | Photo: Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog.com



An ahead-of-his-time innovator who left his imprint on the world of mixed martial arts, Mark Coleman will celebrate his 50th birthday on Dec. 20.

“The Godfather of Ground-and-Pound” retired in March 2013. Coleman won an NCAA wrestling championship at Ohio State University and represented the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics, placing seventh in Barcelona, Spain. He transitioned to MMA in 1996, winning the UFC 10 and UFC 11 tournaments before later becoming the first heavyweight titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. After four consecutive defeats, Coleman resurrected his career in Pride Fighting Championships, winning the Japanese organization’s open weight grand prix in 2000, with victories against Masaaki Satake, Akira Shoji, Kazuyuki Fujita and Igor Vovchanchyn.

Coleman was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008 and returned to the Octagon the following year, losing his rematch with Mauricio Rua. After a decision win over Stephan Bonnar, he made his final appearance at UFC 109 in February 2010, submitting to a rear-naked choke from former two-division champion Randy Couture.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday during the month of December:

Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

Pulver, 40, on Dec. 6.

DEC. 1

Ruben Baraiac (31)
Shinsho Anzai (29)

DEC. 2

Dennis Hallman (39)
Mike Wessel (37)
Billy Vaughan (31)
Marlon Vera (22)

DEC. 3

Vernon White (43)
Robert Hitte (39)
Seth Petruzelli (35)
Nina Ansaroff (29)
Shoki Omichi (27)

DEC. 4

Sean Daugherty (39)
Mike Rhodes (25)
Max Holloway (23)

DEC. 5

Daijiro Matsui (42)
Travis Lutter (41)
Amy Davis (40)
Tetsuji Kato (37)
Kenichiro Togashi (34)
Mats Nilsson (31)

DEC. 6

Royler Gracie (49)
Jens Pulver (40)
Todd Duffee (29)

DEC. 7

Soa Palelei (37)
Ronaldo Souza (35)
Mike Mucitelli (31)
Dongi Yang (30)
Michael Chiesa (27)
Claudia Gadelha (26)
Stephen Banaszak (24)

DEC. 8

Lucio Linhares (41)
Dante Rivera (40)
Clay Guida (33)
Naoyuki Kotani (33)
Luiz Andrade I (29)

DEC. 9

Chris Guillen (42)
Aaron Riley (34)
Joey Beltran (33)
Carlos Eduardo (33)
Gemiyale Adkins (32)
Rani Yahya (30)
Terrell Hobbs (29)

DEC. 10

John Olav Einemo (39)
Andreas Kraniotakes (33)
Zoila Frausto Gurgel (31)
Jamie Varner (30)
Soo-Chul Kim (23)

DEC. 11

Kendall Grove (32)

Photo: M. Alonso/Sherdog.com

Gracie, 48, on Dec. 12.

DEC. 12

Royce Gracie (48)
Evangelista Santos (37)
Yuki Shojo (34)
Hiroshige Tanaka (33)
Court McGee (30)
Neiman Gracie (26)

DEC. 13

B.J. Penn (36)
Dennis Bermudez (28)

DEC. 14

Valdir Araujo (30)
Caio Magalhaes (27)

DEC. 15

Guangyou Ning (33)
Yasubey Enomoto (31)
Ivica Truscek (27)

DEC. 16

Jadamba Narantungalag (39)
Elaina Maxwell (36)
James Thompson (36)
Takeya Mizugaki (31)
Won Sik Park (28)
Cody McKenzie (27)

Photo: Sherdog.com

Liddell, 45, on Dec. 17.

DEC. 17

Chuck Liddell (45)
Kiyoshi Tamura (45)
David Loiseau (35)
Joe Ray (30)

DEC. 18

Kim Couture (39)
Evan Dunham (33)
Roland Delorme (31)

DEC. 19

Michihiro Omigawa (39)
Tony Hervey (29)
Satoshi Ishii (28)
Darrion Caldwell (27)
Jack Marshman (25)

DEC. 20

Mark Coleman (50)
Steve Granieri (40)
Taiyo Nakahara (32)
Alexei Kudin (30)
Robert Whittaker (24)

DEC. 21

Mark Kerr (46)
Masakatsu Ueda (37)
Mike Bannon (32)
Brad Tavares (27)

DEC. 22

David Branch (33)
Norman Parke (28)
Leonardo Morales (22)

DEC. 23

Fabricio Camoes (36)
Egidijus Valavicius (36)
Sami Amin (33)

DEC. 24

Drew Fickett (35)
Jason Miller (34)
Jesse Ronson (29)
Tim Elliott (28)
Aisling Daly (27)
David Khachatryan (27)

DEC. 25

Rafael Natal (32)
Jordan Smith (30)
Dustin Ortiz (26)

Photo: Taro Irei/Sherdog.com

Sato, 41, on Dec. 29.

DEC. 26

Jerome Le Banner (42)
Alex Stiebling (38)
Dan Hornbuckle (34)
Jesus Martinez (31)
Gregor Gracie (28)
Advin Omic (28)
Albert Tumenov (23)

DEC. 27

Liron Wilson (42)
Daniel Acacio (37)

DEC. 28

Gerald Lovato (36)
Matt Bessette (30)

DEC. 29

Rumina Sato (41)
Mitsuhiro Ishida (36)
Nick Moghaddam (32)
Sheila Gaff (25)

DEC. 30

Shannon Gugerty (33)
Nick Osipczak (30)

DEC. 31

Ian Freeman (44)
Diego Sanchez (33)

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