The UFC appears ready to turn to one of its Hall of Famers to help bolster its upcoming historic UFC 100 event.
Published reports indicate that former UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman has been offered a fight against one of the company’s most pivotal fighters, Stephan Bonnar, the light heavyweight runner-up during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
News of the matchup comes courtesy of a report by MMAMania.com, which claims that bout agreements have been distributed to both fighters in anticipation of the July 11 event in Las Vegas.
If signed, the fight will mark the second bout for Coleman as a light heavyweight. He is coming off a third round TKO loss to former PRIDE rival Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 93 in February.
Coleman looked very sluggish fighting at 205 pounds and gassed very early but showed a lot of heart and determination in keeping the fight closer than many people had anticipated. The fight earned both men an additional $40,000 as it was awarded “Fight of the Night” honors.
Coleman’s induction into the UFC Hall of Fame took place in 2008 and soon after it was announced he was coming out of retirement to fight Brock Lensar at UFC 87. However, Coleman was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a knee injury.
In addition to the holding the UFC’s heavyweight title, Coleman was also crowned champion in PRIDE’s first-ever open weight Grand Prix, which took place back in 2000. Overall, Coleman is 15-9 and is 6-4 in the UFC with wins over Gary Goodridge, Dan Severn and Don Frye.
Bonnar will be looking to rebound from a loss sustained against up and coming sensation Jon Jones at UFC 94. During the bout, Bonnar was literally thrown around by the physically gifted Jones for three rounds and looked like an average fighter that night.
Bonnar has had his share of ups and downs since his historic battle with Forrest Griffin during the live finale from the first season of TUF. It was a fight not only elevated the careers of both fighters, but helped propel the UFC to a meritoric period of growth.
The two battled back and forth for three rounds and converted many novice followers of the sport into hardcore MMA fans. Since the fight, Bonnar has battled through injuries as well as a suspension after testing positive for steroids in 2008. He is 14-5 overall with a 5-4 record in the UFC, including a notable unanimous decision victory over Keith Jardine.
UFC 100 is currently expected to feature matchups involving UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defending his title vs. Thiago Alves and rival TUF 9 coaches Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson fighting in a middleweight matchup. It’s also possible that a postponed heavyweight title unification match between UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and interim UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir could be rescheduled for the event as well.