Enter The Hammer. And The Specimen.

While at UFC 13 in Augusta, I had met and begun to bond with Randy’s manager, the legendary Rico Chiapparelli. Rico’s would be one of the most important relationships I would form in the MMA world and would come to be characterized by a deep respect and genuine affinity for him. Shortly after the epic Couture/Halme war ;), Rico calls. There are two guys he’s been quasi-managing, and he’s not digging it. Rico’s a laid-back guy, and according to him, these two are high maintenance. In the extreme. Rico thinks I may be the man for the job. He introduces me, via telephone, to Mark “The Hammer” Coleman and Mark “The Specimen” Kerr. The Hammer has recently lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship to Maurice Smith in a closely contested split decision but is still considered amongst the very best in the world.; The Specimen is rapidly ascending the ladder to MMA royalty, and is considered amongst the best Heavyweights in the World. Coleman is gregarious, tough and unruly. Kerr is introspective, loquacious, if possible, “overly-cultured” and unruly. I bond with both immediately.

The Hammer and The Specimen. I lease a second apartment at Sea Crest Apartments in San Clemente, where my wife Gabrielle and I are living, and “The Marks” move in part-time. Enlisting the aid of Braverman-Bloom, far and away the biggest managers in Pro Wrestling (Goldberg, Sting, Triple H, et al), I sign them to exclusive Management Agreements. Tom Howard joins them at Sea Crest as a third roommate.

Now, of all the things a new marriage probably doesn’t need, chief amongst them is three of the toughest guys on Earth, all in their testosterone-filled prime, living within shouting distance. It’s a recipe for trouble, and one that often produces what its ingredients promise. Take a look at HBO’s award-winning “The Smashing Machine” and you’ll see what I mean… The documentary has attained legendary status in the annals of MMA history. It chronicles the then-far-more-brutal sport we all know and love, and focuses on star Mark Kerr’s descent into drug addiction and attendant craziness (which blessedly, he has overcome). (Well, almost, Mark will always be a little nuts). (And I say that with the greatest affection). At the risk of being repetitive, Mark at the time, along with fellow wrestler Coleman, was dominating the Heavyweight division. Coleman is the featured “co-star” of the doc.