When Don Frye, Oleg Taktarov, Gary Goodridge or Maurice Smith book an MMA match at the ripe age of forty-something, it’s an event. When 53-year-old Dan Severn fights, it’s just something to do on a Saturday night after the early-bird special. Since his MMA debut at UFC 4 in December 1994, “The Beast” (the original one, not the God-awful one) has never fought less than five times in a given year, and has racked up a record of 83-15-7 along the way. Last year he went 7-1; in 2004, he fought a full 12 times.
And he’s not making his living in big-money freak-show matches against other throwbacks, either, but in small regional promotions, far away from any kind of mainstream recognition. Severn fights because he loves it, not to prove a point. According to this press release, his next bout will be against Irish brawler Colin Robinson at a MAX Xtreme Fighting event in Belfast on March 9th. Even though Robinson hasn’t looked very slick in his UFC appearances — Eddie Sanchez TKO’d him at UFC 72, and he suffered a bizarre 17-second loss to Antoni Hardonk at UFC 80 — there’s no way he’ll take it easy on the old man, especially in front of an Irish crowd.
Anyway, we just wanted to give it up for one of MMA’s true pioneers. Now enjoy this video of Severn making his UFC debut at the expense of Anthony Macias’s spine. (Holy Christ, those suplexes.) This was back in the good ol’ days, before there were weight divisions, and when baby-blue high-top Asics were an acceptable part of a fighter’s attire.