Few people have reached the top tier in a variety of sports and entertainment organizations. Dan Severn’s dominance in amateur wrestling, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling makes him one of a select few who has succeeded at that feat.
An accomplished amateur wrestler, Severn narrowly missed out on a chance to compete in the Olympics. That represents one of his few defeats in sports competition. “The Beast,” as he’s widely known, has accomplished amazing things in a variety of mixed martial arts organizations. However, it was the UFC that brought him to the top of the mountain. With 101 wins and 26 losses in 127 bouts in mixed martial arts, he is one of the most accomplished men to ever walk into the cage.
Aside from MMA, he also achieved greatness in the world of professional wrestling. He had one of the longest reigns as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and had a memorable run with the WWE.
Today, Dan Severn, 58 years old, is still wrestling, training and open to facing either Ken Shamrock or Royce Gracie or both of them, in the same night in an MMA bout. Though he announced his retirement not although that long ago, the sports legend says he would be willing to take on two of his greatest foes in the same night. Today, he has a new book out titled The Realest Guy in the Room: The Life and Times of Dan Severn, which can be purchased on Amazon.
We had a chance to catch up with Dan Severn for a 30 plus minute CYInterview, covering many topics including MMA, wrestling, fighting and his life story. You can read the highlights and listen to the entire CYInterview below:
Listen to the entire Dan Severn CYInterview:
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On what he wants fans to take away from his new book The Realest Guy in the Room: The Life and Times of Dan Severn, he said this:
“It’s gonna sound very conceited, but I want them to realize that there is history walking amongst them. That nobody will ever duplicate what I have done. I legitimately have over 100 state, national and or international titles and or records. Nobody is even in the ballpark with me. And the real kicker here is Chris, I’m not done. I defied age barriers young in my career.”
His dedication to training and never testing positive for performance enhancing drugs are why Dan Severn has defied the odds dealt out by Father Time. On his longevity in all areas of physical competition, he says this:
“There is a coincidence of lifestyles, lifestyle choices. None of us are getting out of the game of life alive. How long did you last and how much fun did you have along the way? So I plan on being around for quite a few years.”
Though “The Beast” had a remarkable career as an amateur wrestler, it was the UFC that brought Dan Severn to national prominence. He would end up winning numerous titles with the organization. As one of the company’s earliest fighters, it was UFC Co-Founder Art Davie who has appeared with us numerous times on CYInterview [see here], that brought Dan Severn to the MMA organization during its early days. Telling us the story of when he met Art for the first time, he said this:
“The very first words out of his [Art Davie’s] mouth are, ‘You do realize what we do is real don’t you?’ I don’t know what he was trying to say about professional wrestling, but I took it he was dissing it pretty good. And I said to him, ‘Well, yes I do Mr. Davie.’ And then he’s like, ‘Well, he said, what’s your professional fighting record?’ I said, ‘I don’t have one.’ He said, ‘Well, what’s your amateur fighting record?’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t have one of those either.’ Then it felt was like, like I’m wasting his time. This time he ends up saying, ‘Well, what are your skills?’
And at this point and time, now I’m getting a little bit miffed because I will not let anyone talk down upon me upon my amateur wrestling career, which also prepared me quite nicely for walking into the cage for the no holds barred era. I said, ‘Yes that is true Mr. Davie. I may not have a pro fighting career. I may not have an amateur fighting career, but some of the bouts that I’ve been involved in my amateur wrestling career overseas will far exceed whatever has happened in your cage.’”
As an amateur wrestler, one of Dan’s most important goals was to make the United States Olympic wrestling team and win the gold medal. Not achieving that is one of his few defeats. The setback inspired him to take on other things like the UFC and rise to celebrity. Yet had he won the gold medal at the Olympics in amateur wrestling, there would have been no Dan “The Beast” Severn, UFC champion, MMA legend and one of the longest running NWA World Champions in pro wrestling history. It is an example of how one setback can positively impact a person’s life:
“People were blown away with what I did early on in my career, but what they don’t realize is I would have retired back in 1984 if everything went the way it should’ve went for my amateur wrestling career. But because it didn’t, it spurred me on, motivated me to excel in other areas. So I always tell people, ‘What you saw in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, basically a 20 year career, you saw Dan Severn, residue.’ You didn’t have 100 percent Dan Severn. You saw residue of Dan Severn. But my residue is better than what most people can ever put forth in the first place.”
To finish off his career in mixed martial arts, Dan Severn told us he would like to fight both Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie on the same fight card on the same night, to show the world what a 58 year old man can do and continue to defy the odds:
“I’m so bold right now and that’s why I’m willing to say this publicly as a public statement, I would fight them both [Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie] in the same night, on the same card, and let’s go old school, let’s throw their two names in a little bingo ball machine, spin it around to see what sorry soul has got to go against me first. Let me start the show, give me six or eight matches in between and I’ll close the show out for you. And I’ll show you what a 58 year old man can still do against someone of his, I’ll say someone of his relative same vintage because Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie are not my vintage. I’m the oldest guy. I’m, let’s face it I’m the king, as far as I’m concerned of the cage fighting industry. I’m lifetime chemical free. Out of the first three guys ever inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, only one of us has never tested positive.”
You can purchase a copy of Dan Severn’s book The Realest Guy in the Room: The Life and Times of Dan Severn clicking here
Check out Dan Severn’s official website clicking here.
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com
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