UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman from hospital bed: ‘I’m the happiest man in the world’

FILE - UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman gestures during the weigh-in ahead of his UFC 109 fight against Randy Couture Friday, Feb. 5, 2010, in Las Vegas. Former UFC champion Mark Coleman was airlifted to a hospital and was “battling for his life” after saving his parents from a house fire in Ohio this week, his daughter said on Instagram. Morgan Coleman posted Tuesday night, March 12, 2024, that her father went into the burning house several times and was able to bring out his mother and father. (Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

FILE – UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman gestures during the weigh-in ahead of his UFC 109 fight against Randy Couture Friday, Feb. 5, 2010, in Las Vegas. Former UFC champion Mark Coleman was airlifted to a hospital and was “battling for his life” after saving his parents from a house fire in Ohio this week, his daughter said on Instagram. Morgan Coleman posted Tuesday night, March 12, 2024, that her father went into the burning house several times and was able to bring out his mother and father. (Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — UFC Hall of Famer and former champion Mark Coleman called himself “the happiest man in the world” as he embraced members of his family from a hospital bed.

Coleman was airlifted to a hospital on Wednesday after saving his parents from a house fire in Ohio this week, according to daughter Morgan Coleman. On Thursday, an emotional video was posted to Mark Coleman’s Instagram.

“I swear to God, I’m so lucky,” Coleman said in the video. “I can’t believe my parents are alive. I had to make a decision. I got out of my room and went to the door and it was already horrible. I couldn’t breathe. I almost had to go outside, but I went back and got them. I can’t believe it.”

Morgan Coleman had posted that her father went into the burning house several times and was able to bring out his mother and father. Coleman said at the time that her 59-year-old father was “battling for his life after this heroic act.”

He was unable to rescue a dog, Hammer, from the fire.

“I got them (his parents) but couldn’t find Hammer,” Coleman said in the video.

A post on X from UFC writer Jonathan Snowden showed massive damage to the house.

Coleman, form Fremont, Ohio, was UFC’s first heavyweight champion in 1997 when he defeated Dan Severn. He won 16 of 26 fights over his 14-year career and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008.

Coleman was an amateur wrestler before his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, winning an NCAA title at Ohio State in 1988 and competing at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Another of Coleman’s daughters, Kenzie, said on Instagram that Hammer woke her father up with his barking.

Morgan Coleman has organized a gofundme.com site for her father, raising more than $70,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

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