Alright, let’s be upfront about this. That’s a picture of a very big man in very small underwear… and I apologize about that. But Dan Severn is another very big name in the history of MMA, and he needs to be discussed. And the man wore short shorts in the ring, so there aren’t many pictures of him. So, we’ll tactfully move on from the discussion about short shorts and talk about the career of the great Dan Severn.
Severn was a very ‘to the point’ type of fighter. He wasn’t flashy, he didn’t do a ton of talking, he just got into the ring and used his world class wrestling skills to dominate almost all of the top fighters in his era. Even though he was a top fighter, since he was so business-like and not flashy, there isn’t much history to share like our previous two fighters. Still, he made a huge mark on the world of MMA, being the first to really effectively utilize his wrestling skills as a primary skill set in the ring. He still competes in some lower class organizations and is one of only a few professional fighters to eclipse the 100 career fight mark, currently holding 94 wins.
Severn was the first world-class wrestler to enter the UFC, foreshadowing the period of dominance by wrestlers such as Don Frye in UFC 8 and 9 and Mark Coleman in UFC 10 and 11. Severn entered the UFC in 1994 at UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors, where he captured the hearts of many UFC fans by executing two impressive back suplexs on Anthony Macias. In the finals of UFC 4, Severn was defeated by Royce Gracie who secured a triangle choke for the victory. The submission loss came after Severn was in Gracie’s guard for almost 15 minutes.
He soon roared back into mixed martial arts competition, dominating his opponents to capture the tournament championship at UFC 5: Return of the Beast. Severn’s first fight with Russian Oleg Taktarov at UFC 5 was what many think his greatest performance ever. He pounded Taktarov that night, opening huge cuts on both Oleg’s face & the back of the head (back of the head shots were legal then in the UFC) displaying some of the most brutal ground & pound using knees ever seen. He won by TKO after the referee stopped the fight due to a cut.
After dominating UFC 5, Severn was matched up with Ken Shamrock at UFC 6 to determine the first UFC Superfight Champion, but was defeated by Shamrock early in the fight via submission. Severn went on to win Ultimate Ultimate 1995, a tournament consisting of UFC champions and runners up. Here Severn defeated Paul Varelans, David “Tank” Abbott, and Oleg Taktarov in a single night. He was also victorious over Ken Shamrock at UFC 9 to become the UFC Superfight Champion, his third title win for the promotion.
Dan was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at UFC 52. After his time in the UFC, Severn competed in professional wrestling, winning several championships along the way.
Here’s Mr. Severn’s career record courtesy of Sherdog.com (via Wikipedia). You can click the link to view this breakdown as well as read up on more in depth details of Dan Severn’s career and personal life. This brings us to the conclusion of our fighter profiles for the month, next week will be another preview, this time for UFC 119.
*Editors Note: Similar to my articles on the history of MMA, the UFC, and the other main organizations, these fighter profiles are fancy reproductions of the Wikipedia pages for these fighters, as well as some of my own thoughts, and tidbits from other great websites.