Severn was a basketball player during junior high school. He was influenced in sports from a young age. During his teen years, he took part in combat sports taking as he competed in Jujutsu and amateur wrestling. He says that the coach approached him to fill in for a weight class in amateur wrestling after a sickness had gone around his school and led to a shortage of competitors, Severn signed to compete for the high school amateur wrestling team and received training.
Amateur wrestling career
Severn has a long history in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. His amateur wrestling career started in high school and according to many was an “absolute machine” at 191.5 pounds. He won both sports’ national championships in 1976 and was named the “Outstanding High School wrestler in the nation”. Before his 18th birthday, he was already ranked top six in the nation in the open division and placed in the Olympic trials.
Severn was a two time All-American at Arizona State University, the original Sunkist Kid of the Sunkist Kids, and a wrestling coach at both his alma mater Arizona State and Michigan State. In addition to his home country, he has wrestled in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, England, and several other countries. Severn won a gold medal at the 1985 National Sports Festival, and a berth on the U.S. World team.
Severn failed to win in Olympic trials in 1984 and 1988, and was a finalist in the trials. During the 1984 Olympic trials, he lost the final qualifying match in controversial fashion to eventual gold medal winner Lou Banach, a match that Severn credits with launching his career. “I would have retired in 1984 from competition had everything gone the way it should have gone…I should have been on the Olympic freestyle wrestling team and I should have won the gold medal. Instead, I went to Los Angeles as the alternate, and saw the guy I thought I beat win the gold medal. It was really tough for me to swallow that. That’s what kept me going on.” In his long career, he has held many national and international titles. He was often introduced to the UFC Octagon as holding more than 100 in total. Severn also held the US national record for victories by pin from 1976 to 1992.
Severn began his career in combat sports as a Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestler. He quickly became a top high school and collegiate wrestler capturing many titles, honours, and several national and world titles. As a high school wrestler Severn was a two-time national champion and set eight national records in his career. Severn was inducted into Arizona State University’s wrestling hall of fame at the end of his collegiate career.
After completing his degree program and graduation Severn entered numerous competitions from 1982 to 1994 that took him to Japan, Hungary, Cuba, France, and Turkey. On each trip, Severn captured another title. He also secured 13 National AAU wrestling championships during those years. The Beast also tried his hand at coaching wrestling at ASU and Michigan State University as he continued to compete and excel after his collegiate career.
Severn has been profiled in the press around the world in such publications as USA Today, People, Karate and Kung Fu Illustrated, Black Belt Magazine, MAD, Full Contact Fighter, and many of the pro wrestling publications. Severn also runs a wrestling product company and holds annual wrestling clinics for kids of all ages. He has appeared on 48 Hours, 20/20, The Gordon Elliott Show, Nash Bridges, and many commercials.
Severn has developed a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) training facility on his property called “Michigan Sports Camps” in Coldwater, Michigan. This facility is able to house and train individuals for mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, amateur wrestling and professional wrestling.
Mixed martial arts career
In 1994, Severn started competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). He 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 impressed many UFC fans by executing two impressive back suplexes 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.
Severn soon returned to mixed martial arts competition, defeating several opponents to capture the tournament championship at UFC 5: Return of the Beast. Severn’s second fight was with Russian Oleg Taktarov at UFC 5. He won by TKO after the referee stopped the fight due to a cut.
Severn then entered the UFC’s Ultimate Ultimate 1995, which at the time was the toughest and most competitive tournament in UFC history, consisting of past UFC tournament champions and runners-up. Severn defeated Paul Varelans, David “Tank” Abbott, and UFC 6 Tournament Champion Oleg Taktarov all in the same night to capture the tournament title.
With this win, Severn earned a rematch and title shot against then current UFC Champion Ken Shamrock for the UFC Superfight Championship. Severn won a split decision in what most fans regard as one of the worst fights in MMA history, mainly due to legal issues surrounding the event. With the win, Severn captured his third title for the promotion.
When Severn made his entrance in his fights, he would carry the National Wrestling Alliance Worlds Heavyweight Championship out of his respect and passion for professional wrestling. Conversely, he made his entrance in WWF with his UFC Championship.
In 1999, Severn founded ‘The Danger Zone’, a new mixed martial arts promotion intended to provide a platform for amateur fighters, in which Severn also fought. Severn has also trained and became a mentor to notable mixed martial artists including former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans, The Ultimate Fighter competitor Luke Zachrich, Sean Sherk, and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Severn continued his MMA career on January 29, 2011, by racking up his 97th, and 8th straight, victory in a win over Scott Fraser. In doing so he won the Elite 1 Heavyweight championship. The end came at 4:59 of Round 2 as Fraser tapped to Severn’s arm triangle which he has used to secure his last three victories. The event took place at the Casino New Brunswick in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Severn successfully defeated Cal Worsham again, this time via unanimous decision in the main event of Legends Collide 2 on February 20, 2011. Held under the long running Gladiator Challenge promotion in San Jacinto, California, Severn picked up his 9th straight win to improve his record to 98-16-7.
Severn is one of only two fighters with over 100 wins in mixed martial arts. He has beaten the other fighter, Travis Fulton, and drew against him in the rematch..
On January 1, 2013, Severn announced his retirement from MMA competition.
Return to active competition (2016–present)
Severn was scheduled to face fellow mixed martial arts veteran Ken Shamrock on March 20, 2016, in a MMA match for the upstart URFight promotion. However, Shamrock claimed to have been injured during his bout with Royce Gracie at Bellator 149, and was later suspended after his pre-fight blood sample tested positive for banned substances. Tank Abbott was brought in as a late replacement but failed a pre-fight physical and the bout was scrapped altogether. Severn later appeared at the event and articulated his plans to continue his fighting career and his hopes to fight at a future URFight event. Severn later released a statement condemning Shamrock’s actions and casting doubt upon his injury claims.
Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Severn