Dan "The Beast" Severn (born June 8, 1958 in
Coldwater, Michigan) is an American mixed martial artist and
professional wrestler, notable for his success in the early years of
Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments. Severn has also fought for
many NHB and shootwrestling organizations including International
Fighting Championship, Extreme Challenge, Future Brawl, United Shoot
Wrestling Federation, PRIDE, U-Japan, King of the Cage, Gladiator
Challenge and a number of Brazilian organizations.
Severn has a long history in Greco-Roman and
freestyle wrestling. He was a four time All-American at Arizona State,
the original Sunkist Kid Sunkist Kids, and a wrestling coach at both his
alma mater Arizona State and Michigan State. He has wrestled in Turkey,
Japan, Cuba, Hungary, Canada and France as well as the USA. In his long
career, he has held many national and international titles; he was often
introduced to the UFC Octagon as holding more than 95 in total. Severn
also held the US national record for victories by pin from 1976 to 1992,
his 112 eventually overtaken by the 114 of Matt Padgett.
Severn was the first world-class wrestler to
enter the UFC, becoming indicative of the ensuing period of dominance by
wrestlers continued by men like Don Frye in UFC 8 and 9 and Mark Coleman
in UFC 10 and 11. Severn entered the UFC in 1995 at
UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors, where
he captured the hearts of 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 used a triangle choke hold, but only after the much
bigger Severn dominated in Gracie's guard for around 15 minutes, lacking
the striking experience to finish his opponent. Severn rectified this
loss when he captured the championship in
UFC 5: Return of the Beast, defeating Dave Beneteau in the
finals. Severn went on to win Ultimate Ultimate '95, a tournament of UFC
champions defeating Oleg Taktarov. He also managed his friend and fellow
champion, Don Frye, during UFC 8, and would later train the successful
female competitor, Becky Levi. His first and only fight in PRIDE was a
lackluster draw against Kimo in 1997; since then, he has continued to
compete in a variety of MMA promotions, such as King of the Cage, the
UFC, the British Ultimate Combat and Gladiator Challenge among others.
In 1999, Severn and Levi founded a new mixed martial arts promotion
intended to provide a platform for amateur fighters, called The Danger
Zone, in which Severn also took part.
Severn is an accomplished professional
wrestler, having worked for UWF International in Japan, the National
Wrestling Alliance and the World Wrestling Federation. He entered the
NWA in 1995, and defeated Chris Candido for his first NWA World
Heavyweight Championship on a Smokey Mountain Wrestling card. Severn
would go on to win the UFC championship that year, making him the first
and only man to hold the NWA and UFC championships simultaneously.
During his short stint in the WWF, he competed in the Brawl For All
tournament, beating The Godfather in the first round. However, he
withdrew prior to the quarterfinals, allowing The Godfather to advance
by default. He appeared in 2000 in the short-lived WXO promotion. Severn
would not again hold professional wrestling gold until 2001, when he
again won the NWA championship, this time from Shinya Hashimoto. This
title reign would be controversial (an American referee in a Japanese
promotion issuing a fast count), and short-lived, as the title was
stripped from Severn when he was unable to appear on the inaugural TNA
pay-per-view to defend his title; the belt was won that evening by
Severn's long-time rival, Ken Shamrock.
Severn now is the president of the successful Price of Glory Wrestling
held out of his training facility in Coldwater, Michigan. POG Wrestling
is known for breeding some of the top talent performing in the Midwest
today including Jack Thriller, Johnny Dynamo, CJ Otis, Rastakhan, BAM,
JT Zorin, and more. Severn also wrestles for the promotion on occasion.
His most notable feud in POG Wrestling has been with Jimmy Jacobs.
(12/16/94): Severn defeated Anthony Macias by submission at 1:45 in
the First Round. Severn defeated Marcus Bossett by submission at
0:54 in the First Round. Severn lost to
Royce Gracie by
submission at 15:49 in the First Round.
(4/7/95): Severn defeated Joe Charles by submission at 1:39 in the
First Round. Severn defeated Oleg Taktarov by stoppage at 4:21 in
the First Round. Severn defeated Dave Beneteau by submission at 3:00
in the First Round.
(7/14/95): Severn lost to
by submission at 2:15 in the First Round.
Ultimate Ultimate 95 (12/16/95): Severn
defeated Paul Varelans by submission at 1:01 in the First Round.
Severn defeated Tank Abbott by unanimous decision at the end of
First Round. Severn defeated Oleg Taktarov by unanimous decision at
the end of First Round.
(5/17/96): Severn defeated
Ken Shamrock by
split decision at the end of First Round.
(9/22/00): Severn lost to Pedro Rizzo by
submission at 1:33 in the First Round.