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Former UFC champion Mark Coleman in the hospital after saving his parents from a house fire in Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — UFC Hall of Famer and former champion Mark Coleman was airlifted to a hospital and was “battling for his life” after saving his parents from a house fire in Ohio this week, his daughter said on Instagram.

Morgan Coleman posted that her father went into the burning house several times and was able to bring out his mother and father.

Coleman said her 59-year-old father was at the hospital “battling for his life after this heroic act.”

“Our father has always been our hero and means the world to us,” Morgan Coleman wrote. “He is and always will be a fighter. The strongest and bravest man I know.”

Coleman’s mother, Connie, posted on Facebook, saying “Thank God we are alive” and asking for “prayers for Mark."

A post on X from UFC writer Jonathan Snowden showed massive damage to the house.

Coleman, form Fremont, Ohio, was UFC’s first heavyweight champion in 1997 when he defeated Dan Severn. He won 16 of 26 fights over his 14-year career and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008.

Coleman was an amateur wrestler before his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, winning an NCAA title at Ohio State in 1988 and competing in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Morgan Coleman said in her post that Mark went back in after bringing out his parents to rescue a dog, Hammer, from the fire. She said Hammer did not survive despite her father's efforts.

Another of Coleman's daughters, Kenzie, said on Instagram that Hammer woke her father up with his barking.

Morgan Coleman has organized a gofundme.com site for her father with a photo of him in a hospital bed connected to monitors and other medical necessities. As of Wednesday afternoon, the site had raised several thousands dollars of its stated goal of $50,000.

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