Mixed martial arts is always evolving. A sport that integrates methods from so many different disciplines and nations is never static.
Mark Coleman began his career before the unified rules of MMA were adopted in 2000. He is known as the ‘Godfather of Ground-and-Pound,’ which helped popularise the use of wrestling in MMA, and he has seen one significant shift since his heyday.
In the conversation with Betway sports journalist Guy Giles, he emphasized how the value of knowing how to wrestle is becoming more apparent nowadays. Many people became bored of witnessing so much wrestling, but as wrestling evolved, the score changed since now anybody can block a takedown.
Coleman is a strong supporter of wrestling, having won an NCAA title, a World Championship silver medal, and qualifying for the 1992 Olympics before entering the UFC. However, he is aware of the bad implications that the discipline has inside MMA.
He also acknowledges that the supporters detest Ground-and-pound, but learning how to avoid takedowns is also a good approach to get more admirers.
Takedowns and grappling are vital parts of the sport, according to Coleman, fighters who specialize on the ground may still be successful. However, as wrestling has evolved, the fights are now more on the feet. And the stand-up game has come a long way, and it’s fascinating. The combatants are now fantastic on their feet, and it’s incredible to see them.
According to Coleman, fighters are paid well enough that all they have to do is train, and they have three or four coaches. He also described how he and his friends trained without the assistance of a coach. However, MMA has evolved into a more professional sport now.
A long-running debate regarding fighter pay exists among the MMA community. The UFC is constantly growing, with a current worth of approximately $7 billion, and they just inked a $175 million deal with Crypto.com in which none of the fighters would receive any compensation. Many people think that fighters are underpaid in the UFC, and other MMA companies and most of the criticism has been directed towards UFC president Dana White.
Coleman doesn’t quite agree and praised Dana for his efforts to bring the sport where it is today. And according to Coleman, the fighters are already paid a lot compared to the past.
Fighters are trying to search for alternative sources of income. Several UFC fighters have made the transition to boxing, including bare-knuckle fighting. Coleman was appreciative of the chances that today’s fighters have. And, in his opinion, bare-knuckle boxing will go a long way.
When questioned about Celebrity Boxing Coleman stated
“Celebrity boxing is the rage right now, and I think it’s fantastic. It is excellent for boxing. It’s fantastic for MMA fighters.”
“I’m an inquisitive person. If somebody doesn’t view it that way, that’s their decision, but I believe the more chances the better. We’re all inquisitive. Jake and Logan Paul are both from Ohio, which is where I grew up.”
“I respect their desire to be the best boxers they can be, and I wouldn’t be shocked if both of them transitioned to MMA because they both have a wrestling background,” he adds.
Coleman’s ongoing enthusiasm for MMA is evident, and his understanding of the evolving environment of combat sports is outstanding, despite his retirement 11 years ago.