Mark Coleman vs. Allan Goes
This fight has an absolutely savage ending. It took place at Pride 13, We will see the devastating effect of allowing knees to the headed of a grounded opponent in this fight, and the fighter has to be sent to the hospital afterwards. Don’t watch this if you are faint hearted. This is a good example as to why knees to the head of a downed opponent will never be allowed in America. It’s ridiculously brutal when used from the North-South Position.
Mark Coleman was already a veteran of MMA and a big name coming into this fight. Anybody who knows a little MMA history has probably heard of Mark Coleman. He was a UFC heavyweight champion and won the first ever Pride Grand Prix tournament. He fights out of Columbus, Ohio. He has a wrestling background and pioneered the ground and pound fighting style in MMA. Fedor has said that Coleman’s ground and pound fighting style was a big influence on him.
Allan Goes was also an MMA veteran coming into this fight as well and was known as a submission expert. He was very well regarded among MMA fans at this time. His record was 5-1-2 coming into this fight. His only loss was to Dan Henderson and draws against Sakuraba and Frank Shamrock. However, he’s giving up 20 pounds to Mark Coleman in this fight, weighing in at 205 lbs. (These weight mismatch type of fights would not be allowed in today’s MMA, another reason to appreciate Pride fighting as a historic event.) He’s not afraid though. Goes is one of the original members of Brazilian Top Team.
Goes looks real relaxed, leaning in his corner when they announce his name.
During the opening staredown both fighters are respectful to each other, neither maintaining eye contact. There isn’t any anger in either of their eyes. It’s more like professionals doing what they have to do.
The fight begins and Goes tries two flashy jump kicks that don’t come anywhere close to landing. He then throws a Capoeira kick that misses by a mile. These are very flashy moves and they make the audience react a lot, but Coleman is not any danger. They are missing by feet, not inches. I wouldn’t try such moves in a real fight against a skilled fighter. Coleman doesn’t look intimidated at all.
Goes tries two more Capoeira high kicks that misses. I have never seen anybody use the Capoeira fighting technique in MMA before.
Coleman leans in and Goes for a takedown. Coleman sprawls (he was an Olympic wrestler) and uses his weight to push Goes down. Coleman gets North-South position and throws some huge body shots. Those look painful. Coleman’s corner is yelling for the knees, but Goes is working to get Coleman in the guard. Coleman lands another loud body shot and then gets back into North-South position.
North-South position is one of the most lethal positions you can have in a fight. Coleman rears back and throws a huge left knee to the top of Goes’ dome. Coleman throws another huge knee and it looks like it knocked Goes out briefly, he’s moving a little bit. Coleman throws another knee and Goes falls completely limp. Coleman then throws one more left knee and then a right knee before the ref stops it. Goes is trying to cover the top of his head with his hand.
I don’t think Coleman even knew what extreme damage he was causing. The last two knees were unnecessary when watching the replay. But it happened so fast. It is the ref’s job to be watching and stop the fight, not Coleman’s. It is the fighter’s job to keep going until he is stopped.
Every one of those knees did extreme damage. The ref did his best to stop it, although it is hard to watch those last two knees landing. Remember this is the first Pride event ever allowing knees and kicks to the head of a grounded opponent.
That was a pretty graphic ending to a fight. Both announcers are like “Oh my god” and their tone of voice is one of concern. Coleman stands up and celebrates his victory.
Then, it gets freaky…. All of a sudden, Goes gets up and tries to get a take down on Coleman, grabbing a single leg. Coleman face looks of fright and confusion, he was about to hit Goes before other people jumped in to stop it while Goes is still clasping Coleman’s leg, trying to get a takedown.
What happened was Goes didn't remember being knocked out. He had no idea he was out cold for a moment, and then when he came to, he still tried to continue fighting. Other people are in the ring trying to break them up and once the bell rings Goes stops. People explain to Goes that he got knocked out and he understands and accepts it. Coleman understands what happened too, Goes wasn’t trying to be dirty by attacking him after the fight. He just got KTFO. Both fighters hug afterwards, which I’m happy to see.
I am very glad to see Goes back on his feet after receiving such savage knee strikes to the head. I really can’t believe he is up and walking around like he’s fine.
The fight was 1:19 long with a dangerous ending. The ref really should have jumped in and stopped those last 2 knees from landing. I don’t think it was because the ref wanted to see more damage, it was just incompetence and being new at officiating these new Pride Rules.
To watch this fight today, people will think, “why is that smaller guy fighting that bigger guy, of course he is going to get destroyed.” Well, that is what happened here, and it is very brutal to watch when it happens. But Goes was a very well respected fighter coming into this fight. I cannot stress enough how well regarded Goes was going into this fight.
The ending to this fight is somewhat disturbing, but I understand that this is part of the sport. If knees to the head of a grounded opponent are ever allowed in American MMA, I don’t know if strikes to the top of the head should be allowed like what we saw here. It is very dangerous.
I’m amazed that Goes wasn’t more injured. Even though Goes is up walking around after the fight, he had to be rushed to the hospital once he got back stage. He spent the night under watch at the hospital because of severe concussion like symptoms. I am thankful that he didn't suffer worse injuries and it doesn’t appear he has long term damage.
This is the only time I have ever heard the announcer Bas Rutten shaken up after a fight with such a savage ending. I was shaken up after watching this fight. The replays they show of the knees landing are absolutely brutal. You know it’s bad when a fighter doesn’t even remember getting knocked out, and then tries to keep fighting once he regains his senses.
After this fight, Allan Goes never turned out to be the superstar fighter that people thought he was going to be. His next and last Pride fight against Alex Steibling, was entertaining, but he lost again to knee strikes to the head on the ground. The ref stopped it much quicker than at this fight. Goes fought in smaller MMA promotions after Pride. He seems to have done pretty well financially, and he owns his own gym in California where he also teaches Jiu-Jitsu. I’m glad to hear that former Pride fighters turn out well.
It was interesting to see a fighter try using Capoeira during a fight; brought back memories from the Tekken video games where Eddy used that style. But Capoeira seemed very ineffective here. The unique kicks are slow to develop and don’t seem to have a lot of power behind them. It’s a flashy style and the crowd will “oo and ah”, but I wouldn’t recommend trying those moves in a real fight.
Another thing to learn from this fight is that having the North-South position under Pride rules is an absolutely lethal position to get a guy in. We may never see anything like this again with American MMA rules, and the strategy in those fights is taken away in trying to secure that position.
Today’s MMA fights are much more one-dimensional, but safer. Although there is an equal amount of blood in today’s MMA because of all those cheap elbows, but that’s another issue.
This victory was when Coleman was at the top of his game. However, after winning the original Grand Prix in 2000, Coleman was never able to beat the top heavyweights in Pride, but remained competitive.
In any case, Mark Coleman established himself as one of the premier fighters of his era. He is well respected by anyone who knows MMA history. Today, the ground and pound fighting style is considered standard repertoire, and Coleman basically showed everybody that the wrestling fighting style is one of the most dominating fighting styles in the world when tested in a real fight. I'm glad that Coleman made six-figure a year money during his MMA career and I hope he is doing well.
Mark Coleman and Allan Goes, thank you for fighting in Pride.