#9. Mark Coleman
Amateur wrestling standout Mark “The Hammer” Coleman exploded onto the mixed-martial-arts scene in 1996 at UFC 10, becoming one of the first of many high-caliber amateur wrestlers to dominate the MMA scene at the time.
Coleman won back-to-back UFC tournaments, both in 1996, before winning the first ever UFC Heavyweight Championship bout against Dan Severn in the main event at UFC 12 in 1997.
While Coleman would quickly lose the UFC title in his first defense against veteran kickboxer Maurice Smith and hit a huge slump, dropping four fights in a row, he would bounce back and win arguably the biggest tournament in history at the time, as he won the first ever PRIDE Fighting Grand Prix in 2000.
Coleman is considered the “godfather of ground and pound,” popularizing a style that is often used to this day that features dominant wrestlers holding down their opponents on the “ground” and “pounding” on them en route to a victory.
Coleman is one of the few official UFC Hall Of Famers and is without a doubt one of the top ten most dominant heavyweight champions in MMA history.