427 Date (4/27) of 2001 when English MMA star Ian Freeman suffered his fourth loss in a row. This one came via KO against Stanislav Nuschik at M-1 Mixed Fight Championships and dropped Freeman to 10-5.
Surely frustrated, the former doorman/bouncer from Sunderland didn't let it get to him, he won a rematch with Nuschik only a few months later and then went on to two more wins. The second at UFC 38 in London against an undefeated Frank Mir.
The circumstances around this one make the toughest among us teary eyed. Freeman's father was dying of cancer, but his mom told him to go ahead and fight and that is exactly what he did. He headed to London a couple days before the event without knowing his father's status. He beat Mir and then announced that he dedicated the fight to his father. At the time the viewing audience knew his dad had already passed away and after the fight he called his mom and was given the devastating news.
Since the Mir victory at UFC 38 Freeman has gone 5-2-1. Although he hasn't fought since September of 2006 he's stayed busy in the sport as editor of the U.K. magazine Fighters Only and he starred in the movie Sucker Punch. He also recently took part in a "Martial Arts Fighting Cancer" seminar in which all proceeds went to cancer charities.
All this on top of his fighting career has made Ian "The Machine" Freeman a loved figure throughout the U.K. and of course even more so around his old stomping grounds of Sunderland. This was evident at UFC 80 in Newcastle which is right down the road from Sunderland. Prior to the event the poor guy couldn't even go to the restroom because of all the fans clamoring around him taking pictures and asking for autographs. And Freeman obliged almost all of them even though he was about to pee his pants.
On this day seven years ago Ian Freeman suffered his fourth straight loss, but it did nothing to decrease his fan base or his status as an ambassador for the sport in the U.K. and it shouldn't have. He is a great fighter, a class act, and deserves his star status.
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