Dan “The Beast” Severn recently retired at the age of 54. He fought in MMA for two decades and recorded a staggering record of 101-19-7. Since leaving the UFC for good after losing to Mark Coleman way back at UFC 12, Severn fought 110 more times, or about seven times a year. That’s a hectic schedule for a 22 year old, let alone a fighter who entered the sport at 36 and continued on past the age where most men require sexual enhancements just to tug.
So how does a guy do that in such a grueling sport? Severn spoke to MMAFighting and let us in on his secret:
“If there is a secret, Severn noted that his mentality would be the opposite of that of Chuck Liddell, who he noted was a guy who had a lot of spectacular knockouts, and also got knocked out spectacularly on several occasions.”
“To utilize an old saying, you live by the sword, you die by the sword,” he said. “Liddell at one point was close to two records in UFC, knocking out the most people, and being knocked out the most. That’s not a dual record you want to have. Every time you get hit in the head, you will suffer some type of damage, even if it’s superficial. You can take blows to the body, but the head, no. The little piece of Jell-O called the brain isn’t meant too be jostled around like that.”
Having a smothering wrestling style didn’t hurt either. Severn never took a lot of punches because he didn’t have to. Staying true to his roots, he never embraced the striking game, and didn’t give two fucks about entertaining the blood-thirsty masses with schoolyard punching exchanges. He just did what he always did – throw a guy to the ground and beat the snot out of him until he gave an opening for a submission – of which he has 60 to his credit.
Sure, it wasn’t always fun to watch. Dan’s “Superfight” with Ken Shamrock at UFC 9 is widely considered the absolute worst fight in UFC history, and quite possibly the history of the entire sport. But when you put Severn in there against an overmatched opponent on the regional circuit, hot damn was he golden.
You gotta give mad respect to the man though. He truly did it his way, and he went out with his wits intact, as well as his classic 70s porn stache. Here’s to Dan “The Beast” Severn, a true MMA pioneer, UFC Hall of Famer, and eternal AARP Heavyweight Champion of the World.