UFC heavyweight legend Mark Coleman had a positive message for his fans following the news that he had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.
The news was reported by MMA documentarian Will Harris, who shared an Instagram story from Coleman’s daughter Morgan in which she posted an image of herself with Coleman giving a thumbs up from a hospital bed.
“Thank you for all the kind words and support,” Morgan wrote. “[Coleman] is recovering well from his heart attack but still has more test to be done.”
Coleman later issued a statement of his own detailing the heart attack as he prepares for a procedure on Monday to put a stent in one of his arteries that caused the blockage.
“I hadn’t been feeling so well for quite some time something hit pretty hard Tuesday about 7:00 pm, chest locked up my arms went numb sounds pretty obvious but I didn’t want to believe,” Coleman wrote on Instagram. “I walked around and laid down for about 6 hours it didn’t get better.
“I texted my daughters I didn’t want to go, wasn’t fair to them so I grabbed my keys made it to the hospital for sure there was nothing wrong but yes there was complete blockage of a major artery. If I don’t go I’m probably not here today. I’m so glad I went I have so many things I want to do . Tomorrow they will try to break through the artery and put a stent in. For the first time in a long time I am motivated, I am [grateful] and appreciate all your support. It wasn’t my time. It’s time to live.”
Coleman, 55, was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008 (he was also part of a 2016 induction celebrating Pete Williams’ upset win over him at UFC 17). He was the first-ever UFC heavyweight champion, defeating Dan Severn at UFC 12 to earn the title. Following his initial run with the UFC, Coleman went on to have success in Japan’s PRIDE organization before closing out his career with three more fights in the octagon.
Over the course of his 14-year MMA career, Coleman stood across a number of all-time greats, including Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Mirko Cro Cop, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.