Happy Movember, everybody! In honor of the hairiest month of the year, we convinced UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn to write a weekly column for CagePotato.com. For the first installment, he plucked some topics from our Facebook page, but he’s up for answering anything about his life, career, and moustache, so drop your own suggestions in the comments section. Visit DanSevern.com and Dan’s Facebook page for more Beast-related updates, and join the CagePotato Movember team if you want to help support a good cause!
Matthew Poulin asks: How many fights do you still want?
Dan Severn: It’s not so much how many fights I want to have. I want specific fights right now. I’ve had some verbal offers but haven’t had the opportunity to bring some of these matches to life. Two particular matches I’m still interested are ones with Mark Coleman and Ken Shamrock. Realistically, I think that 2012 will be my final year as an MMA competitor. So whatever gets done gets done; whatever doesn’t, I’ll have to learn to live with I guess.
Matthew Gingerfunky Hoggart asks: Do you regret taking your last fight?
I can’t regret taking the fight but it didn’t happen at the best time in my career. What the fans see is one aspect but they don’t have a clue as to what I endured for 3 ½ to 4 months before the fight in terms of taking care of my father. Prior to my last fight, my siblings and I were providing home hospice-type care for my father and since I have the most flexible schedule, I was the primary caregiver during the normal working day times. On weekends I would leave late Friday and would be back late Sunday to resume my duties. And I would not change that for the world.
Todd Levin asks: How did you come up with “The Severn”? It’s a very useful wrestling move that is not widely known.
Todd, I don’t even know what you’re asking me. If it’s a technique that you think I created, I’m not sure what you’re referring to specifically. I apologize. I do so many seminars and people are blown away by the mechanics of what I show. The unfortunate thing about a lot of the things I do is it’s not fan friendly because the spectators cannot see my opponent’s pain. But trust me; most people are blown away by the amount of pain that I can inflict. And there will come a day when they will realize what a 53 year old guy can really do.
Ben Silverfox Latham asks: I’d like to know what you think about the way the UFC has changed since you were in it all those years ago, and while you were in it did you ever think it could become so huge?
Okay well Ben, it had to change or else we would be thinking about it in past tense. There was a lot pressure that was coming down from athletic commissions, legislators and politicians who were looking to change the “No Holds Barred” style. The concessions that were made have created the byproduct that is mixed martial arts. As far as the excitement level and the potential for greatness…after watching the first two UFCs on VHS, as I watched other friends inside my living room react to what they were watching, I knew that there was something there. In some ways our society has advanced, but when it boils right down to it, there is a primal, prehistoric captivation about violent acts for people. For example, why does everybody slow down when they see an accident? Nobody admits that they want to see anything – even to themselves — but they do.
When I was watching in the beginning, I was able to view the pain. So as I was watching, I wasn’t watching as a fan to see what kind of outfit the fighters were coming out in or what their walkout music was. I was looking at the actual mechanics. What were the competitors actually bringing to the table…are they strikers? Are they grapplers? I think that fighters see things totally different. You study weakness and strengths of the competitors compared to your own set of skills.
Mike Skytte asks: What do you think of the development of today’s fighters?
Fighters will always develop according to the rules. For example, if they were to make any rule change – regardless of what it may be – you would see the athletes evolve in a different direction. Take the example of time limits. If there was unlimited time or if there were stalemates, that would change how athletes would prepare. The rules really dictate what the fighters are able to do and train for. Certain things that I teach right now are that you are able to exploit some of the rules in the way that you attack or counter-attack in the heat of the action, if the way that you apply the attack is disguised. There is black and white in the sport but there is also a lot of gray.