UFC legend Mark Coleman hospitalized after rescuing parents from burning house, family asks for prayers

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: UFC hall of famer Mark Coleman is seen on stage during the UFC 30th Anniversary Q&A session at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman is in the hospital. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC legend Mark Coleman is in the hospital after he saved his parents from a house fire in Ohio on Tuesday morning, his family announced.

Details of the fire were first reported by WTOL 11, but no identities were disclosed. Coleman's daughter, Morgan, confirmed via an Instagram post that it was Coleman who was airlifted to a Toledo hospital.

The 59-year-old had already carried both of his parents, Dan and Connie Foos Coleman, out of their home in Fremont. He went back into the flames in an unsuccessful attempt to save the family's dog. The dog "saved [Mark’s] life by barking until he woke up,” Mark's daughter, Kenzie, wrote on her Instagram story. The dog did not survive.

“As many know, our dad was involved in a house fire early this morning along with his parents and beloved dog, hammer,” Morgan Coleman wrote. “He managed to carry both of his parents out of the house but despite his best efforts was not able to save [our dog] Hammer. He was life-flighted to the hospital where he is currently battling for his life after this heroic act.

Coleman was the UFC's first heavyweight champion in 1997. Often referred to as “The Godfather of Ground-and-Pound," he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Our father has always been our hero and means the world to us. He is and always will be a fighter. The strongest [and] bravest man I know." Morgan added. "Please continue to pray for him and our family during this extremely difficult time. We will miss our sweet hammer so deeply."

Coleman's current hospitalization comes after he suffered a heart attack in 2020. A year later, he went to rehab for alcoholism. Since then, he has been actively posting on social media about his healthy lifestyle.

Author Jonathan Snowden, who claims that he was close to developing a book with Coleman about his life, shared multiple photos of the fire's aftermath. One of those photos showed Coleman, intubated and sedated in a hospital bed. When fans recommended that Snowden delete the photo, the author said the family wanted the picture to remain online in order to "encourage prayers."

Snowden also posted a photo of the Fremont home:

Dan "The Beast" Severn, retired wrestler and MMA fighter, posted a vintage photo of Coleman and asked people to join in sending prayers and well wishes.

Ohio State's wrestling program also shared a message in honor of Coleman, one of their notable alum:

Wes Sims, Coleman's close friend, said that no further details will be provided.

"No one can tell a Mark Coleman story like Mark Coleman!" Sims told People Magazine. "Please keep him in your prayers! Thank you!"