Don’t Bet Against The Beast: A Conversation With Dan Severn

Dan Severn
Dan Severn Credit: Dave Mandel/

Dan Severn is a true MMA legend, a UFC Hall of Famer, with an insane pro record of 101–19–7. Winner of the UFC 5 tournament, Ultimate Ultimate 95 tournament, challenger for the inaugural UFC heavyweight championship, and a successful pro wrestler as well, Severn has done it all.

And he’s not done yet.

Detroit, Michigan was the backdrop to one of the best night of fights in the UFC’s short history. It’s fair to say UFC 218 lived up to all the hype and more; we have a true number one contender in the heavyweight division now. Alvarez and Gaejthe went toe-to-toe in an instant classic. And Max Holloway continues to impress.

One thing that the UFC has always done a fantastic job with is making sure that local fighters end up competing on cards in their hometowns. Last weekend was no exception. Michigan native Amanda Cooper took home a convincing second round TKO victory over Angela Magana, and David Teymur halted the rising Drakkar Klose in a hard-fought decision win.

Maybe it’s something in the water. Michigan has produced some of the most memorable hard-nosed fighters the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen.

When you think of Michigan men and the sport of MMA, one name comes to mind first and foremost: Dan ‘The Beast’ Severn.

Cageside Press recently caught up with the HOF pioneer to talk about what ‘The Beast’ is up to nowadays, his pro wrasslin days, and if we will get a ‘Beast’ come back.

Severn is a man of many interests; you can add successful business owner to the already impressive list of his many accomplishments. “I have many exciting things in the works for next year,” said Severn regarding some of his new projects. “That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

‘The Beast’ sure knows how to peak your interest. I pressed for more, and Severn assured me that “it’s truly cutting-edge stuff.” I for one can’t wait.

Although Severn has several endeavors, he still finds time for his passion. “I love teaching” the UFC Hall of Famer said. “First it was amateur wrestling, then so many guys needed help with pro wrestling, then it evolved to MMA.”

Not a bad guy to learn the trade from if I do say so myself.

In my experience, there are two types of fans: the ones that enjoy mixed martial arts and the fans that are crazy about pro wrestling. For whatever reason, it seems that most fans don’t enjoy both UFC and WWE.

Many MMA proponents call wrestling ‘Fake’, but don’t tell ‘The Beast’ that. “I have been hurt worse in professional wrestling than all of my mixed martial arts fights combined,” said Severn regarding the validity of pro wrestling.

Severn added, “That’s why you see a lot of wrestlers get hooked on pain pills. And eventually many of them succumb to their illness.”

Whether you’re the biggest WWE fan or the most hard-core MMA purist, athlete safety should always be everyone’s priority.

There are inherent risks in any sport. Like always, ‘The Beast’ seems to be one step ahead of the curve. “I would’ve been against marijuana at one point,” Severn said. “But we are getting into the CBD oils, the extract from the plant that has tremendous healing properties, and it has no narcotic effect.”

Perhaps ‘The Beast’ is dropping a subtle hint here about some of his new and exciting things to come for 2018.

Heading into the new year, Severn shows no signs of slowing down. But is there any chance of a ‘Beast’ comeback? “Don’t count ‘The Beast’ out just yet,” Severn stated emphatically.

“You may see me in some athletic competitions or showmanships, and I’m going to be stepping into the squared circle, and possibly a new ring of competition, I’ll leave it at that.”

It appears this small-town Michigan man has big time plans for 2018.

However, for the doubters, Severn leaves them with a piece of advice, “Don’t bet against ‘The Beast”.