The “Godfather of Ground’n’Pound”, as christened by UFC big mouth Joe Rogan, also re-upped for a return to the Octagon at 44-years young and after a nine-year absence.
The tetralogy begins 9 August in Minneapolis versus 1-1 former collegiate and pro wrestling champion Brock Lesnar.
“I’m going to dedicate my life to this,” claimed Coleman at UFC 82.
The 15-8 former NCAA wrestling champion and Olympian spent most of his post-UFC run in PRIDE where he posted a Grand Prix championship and wins versus Mauricio Rua, Igor Vovchanchyn, Don Frye, and Kazuyuki Fujita.
In the UFC, Coleman developed the strategy known as “ground’n’pound” and took UFC 10 with a TKO of Don Frye, UFC 11 with a tapout on strikes versus Brian Johnston, and was crowned UFC Heavyweight Champion at UFC 12 with a neck crank submission of Dan Severn.
He last fought Fedor Emelianenko in October 2006 at PRIDE’s American debut, tapping to the Russian in an armbar at 1:15 of round two in front of his two young daughters.
His return to his UFC roots seems fueled by the promotion’s desire to find soft but marketable heavyweight competition for high-dollar headliner Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar lost his UFC debut in February to Frank Mir in a round one leg lock.
Coleman warned, “I’m going to bring something for Brock Lesnar.”
And, if Coleman does post the conceivable “W” over Lesnar, where does that take the MMA elder? Where does that leave the athletically-gifted rookie?