Man... In his day "the hammer" was one of the most bad ass fighters on earth. No one implemented wrestling the way he did in the cage, and though his striking was never "mayweatherish" he had power in both hands and could put your lights out.
One of my all time favs, and a Buckeye. Bad ass.
Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.
When they took away head butts, they really removed a great part of his offense. He was unstoppable until then.
Mark is on a crusade to get Randleman inducted into the UFC HOF, which is deserving. It would be nice if OSU would do the same for him.
"Great moments are born from great opportunities." - Herb Brooks
Enjoyed reading up about The Hammer, thanks. The Smashing Machine about Mark Kerr is a good watch which also features Mark prominently.
Outstanding article. The Hammer will remain the greatest champion in my book for a long time. The fact that he is not in the Ohio State Hall of Fame is laughable. Im not sure what it will take to get him in, but I do think we should push hard. As a true Ohio State fan, I feel that we are missing a piece we should be wearing with pride. Mark is not only an NCAA Champion, but also the first UFC Heavyweight Champion. Not sure what else it takes. But loved the article and catching up with THE HAMMER!
My guess is that off the mat issues have kept him out of the Ohio State HOF. Those issues are not secret and were surprisingly left out of the article as they led Mark away from coaching. That said, still a good read.
If Cris Carter can make it in, with his history, no real reason for Coleman to be omitted.
I'm surprised you didn't get dv's lol.....Most of the young people on here don't have a clue about Carter. Although they usually comment like they do
That picture with Spielman is pure 80's, but those are two guys you don't want to mess with.
The Smashing Machine, as mentioned by Tracy above, shows the life. Brutal, absolutely brutal.
Barney Fife lives, and he lives among us.
Indeed. SI did an update on Mark Kerr last year. He's had a rough go of it. The problem with being pioneers is that the money doesn't come until later...Coleman, Randleman, and Kerr would be superstars in today's MMA for their exciting fights and personalities.
What I remember from it was that the purses won were good money, but expenses just ate it all up. It was a never ending cycle of pain killers and starving until the next fight.
Pride was like the wild west with PEDs.
FYI Curt, I believe the fella on the far left in the picture is Guy Mezger, an MMA/kickboxing legend in his own right. UFC 13 Lightweight Tournament winner, former world kickboxing title holder.
Talked briefly with Mark several years a go at an OSU wrestling match. I believe he was at the end of his time with Pride at that point. He was incredibly nice and talkative. Not many in the group around me seemed to recognize him, but as we talked more and more people came up to him.
He is nice to meet. I met him through friends when I was in undergrad, then ran into him one time when he was taking two of his daughters to the state wrestling tournament at the Schott.
He was recently at the UFC Fight Night in Pittsburgh. I was watching him interact with the crowd around him - someone sent their little boy up to him to say hello. Mark traded high fives with him, then he traded hats having fun with the kid. At the end, he took the kid's hat, signed it, gave it back to him then had a talk with him for short time.
I did find it sad that Mark had a go fund me set up months ago by his longtime friend/training partner Wes Sims for Mark's medical expenses for the hip surgeries, since he had no health care coverage. For his family's sake, I hope he isn't drowning in debt due to the expenses.
I talked to him after OSU beat Iowa. What a night! Adam Disabato and Mark talked with me and my son for a few moments and they both recognized me from wrestling and we spoke more about family and stuff. It made me feel really good. I remember Mark coming to the Jordan club in the early to mid 90s and we were always very proud of him. I second your take on him being a very cool and gracious guy. He is one of the great studs of Ohio in the fight game. HIs legend will only grow, and that makes me feel good.
Really great article, Curt. Very thorough, well written and an enjoyable read. Kudos.
I certainly remember The Hammer during the salad days of MMA. One hell of a tough way to make a living, but given the history presented here, it certainly seems Mark was cut out for just that.
Those four men would clear out any bar.
He was a BAAAADDD BAD MAN!!! Repped OSU like a true champ!
He was one of the best in the early MMA. Couldn't wait to see his next match
Marco Coleman and one of the Disabato brothers came to one of my middle school wrestling practices in the early 1990s. He gave me a snap down that still make my knees ache.