UFC hall-of-famer Mark Coleman found himself in such a dire financial situation after retiring from the sport that he even attempted to auction off the 5ft trophy and novelty cheque he won as PRIDE’s 2000 Grand Prix winner on eBay for $24,500.
The UFC’s first ever heavyweight champion and two-time tournament winner was desperately seeking money in order to cover the costs of a second hip replacement as his health insurance was about to run out.
Too proud to ask his fans for help, in the end it was another former UFC fighter Wes Sims who finally went public to reveal the extent of Coleman’s financial difficulties, explaining that ‘The Hammer’ was unemployed with no source of income other than occasional guest appearances and autograph signings.
“That’s all he’s lived on,” fellow fighte Wes Sims told MMAfighting. “He’s literally maxed out his checking account. There’s about nothing left.”
A GoFundMe account was set up for Coleman looking for $20,000 to help the star and MMA fans responded generously by raising over $50,000, leaving the former champion humbled as he told MMAJunkie in an emotional interview that, “I guess people do care.”