Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer Mark "The Hammer" Coleman was forced to pull out of his upcoming fight with former WWE superstar Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 due to a torn MCL in his knee. He sustained the injury while working his stand-up in preparation for the showdown with Lesnar in August.
"It happened last Friday during a sparring session," Coleman said about the injury to MMAWeekly.com. "I've been trying to work my stand-up quite a bit more, and work my kicks, and me and my partner threw a kick at the same time and I took the worst of the punishment. I tore the MCL ligament in my knee."
Dealing with the fact that he would be forced out of the fight with Lesnar, the former Ohio State wrestler stayed positive when speaking about the injury that will require no surgery, but will keep him out of training for at least six weeks.
"I'm really trying to stay positive, but this is definitely one of the low points in my athletic career," Coleman said with a heavy heart. "I was incredibly excited about this fight, looking so forward to fighting. I've been training hard and training was going very well. I just appreciated the opportunity to do this and my confidence was good. I really felt like I was going to be able to beat Brock Lesnar."
Coleman also said that he was excited to show off some new techniques he's been learning while training for this fight. He now hopes to show them to his next opponent instead.
"I do promise that I will rehab this. And like I said, I have been working on the weak spots in my game and when I do come back, I plan on having some new tools. When I do get back in the ring, I plan on having some new weapons to use," Coleman commented.
Since being entered into the UFC Hall of Fame and announced as the opponent for Lesnar at UFC 87, he has felt a great deal of support from his fans.
"I've always loved and respected the fans and I'm so appreciative," stated Coleman. "They're the ones that motivate me to keep fighting."
Currently in Las Vegas for UFC 84, the former UFC champion will start rehabbing his knee and is looking forward to his next challenge and return to the Octagon.
"I didn't come back to the UFC just for the paycheck, I came back to compete and to try and be a champion again," Coleman said. "I hope I get a chance to fight Brock again, but if not whoever they offer. I just hope they come up with somebody. I hope to fight maybe October at the latest. I feel like I'd be ready to go by October for sure."