Cortez Coleman Believes There Will Be “Fireworks” When He Meets Keith Berry at Bellator 96
By Tony Kamps
Growing up it looked as though Cortez Coleman was destined to be just another statistic. All three of his brothers have spent time in jail. Coleman decided that route was not going to be his destiny. He started playing football in high school believing it was his path out of the town of Hugo in Oklahoma. It wouldn’t be football that got him out of the ghetto, it would be another sport.
One night Coleman went to Buffalo Wild Wings and watched a UFC fight that featured legendary Chuck Liddell. When Coleman saw how hyped up the crowd was watching two guys beat each other up he knew where his destiny lied, inside the cage.
“I always had a business mind,” Coleman said. “Basically there was some money in that sport and this fighting.”
He grew up fighting, and felt it was a natural transition to start getting paid for it. When people would tell him that not everyone can fight professionally he would laugh those statements off.
“Where I come from, where I been I’ve seen crack heads tougher than that with better skills than that,” Coleman stated.
He has great respect and admiration for Liddell, but he knew watching the fight that his career was going to come to an end soon.
“I just knew a person can’t keep knocking people out with their hands wide-open like that, it’s a new era,” Coleman said. “I respect Chuck he had some skills, but as far as just a boxer he wasn’t that.”
Coleman sought out gyms to train at and started training with the H.I.T. Squad. This is where he met twins Mike and Ken Jackson. After some time he became their manager as he continued to train on his own. One of his Uncle’s saw how much money he was spending as a manager and told him that he should fight himself. So he did and he found that he’s really good at it.
Having fought in Strikeforce and now Bellator, Coleman has a better understanding than most on the business side of the sport. He is a professional fighter, and he has been a manager. One of the hottest topics right now is that fighters need to band together and form a fighter’s union. Coleman is not so sure.
“Forget all that type of stuff,” Coleman said. “The deal with a lot of fighters is they need to learn how to hustle.”
“As far as a union, man and all that, I’m my own union,” continued Coleman.
Coleman has people helping him out, but it’s mostly him and his fiancée. For Coleman he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“For some fighters that really can’t talk and handle business really they can do that [join a union],” Coleman stated. “The only thing I need is some good coaches in the corner and God will take care of the rest.”
Good coaching can take great fighters to another level. With his upcoming fight against Keith Berry at Bellator 96 quickly approaching Coleman is soaking up everything they are showing him. Coleman though doesn’t train for specific opponents.
“I’m training for King Kong,” Coleman stated. “I don’t know what he’s going to bring, I just know what I’m going to do, [and] I don’t game plan just when I get in the cage I’m coming to fight.”
The fight is between two heavy hitters as Coleman has three of his nine wins come by KO, and Berry has nine of his 14 coming by way of KO.
“It’s going to be fireworks, and I’m going to have my hand raised,” Coleman stated. “I don’t really worry about what he’s going to bring I just know he’s going to want to take me down.”
“Because if he stands[s] up he’s gonna get knocked out,” continued Coleman.
One thing you can always count on in a Coleman fight is he is tough as nails, and won’t back down. He will continue to push forward and push the pace of the action. It’s why he has become a fan favorite in Bellator.
“Matt Hughes, which is a good friend, taught me how to be tough with great wrestling and great grappling,” continued Coleman.
As for his Mom that pushed him, she probably won’t be at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, OK on June 19th. Not because she does not support her son, because she does, it will be because she knows how violent Coleman can be when fighting.
“She really [doesn’t] come too much to them, because she know[s] how violent I can get,” Coleman said. “She rather [see] me doing this, doing something good than what I was doing.”