(Beast-Mode: He invented it.)
Thanks to everybody who submitted questions to Dan Severn last week! Today’s installment of Dan’s no-holds-barred Q&A column is loaded with classic stories and grown-man wisdom, so get comfortable and read on. You can support the MMA living legend by visiting DanSevern.com and Dan’s Facebook page, and you can support us by kicking in a few bucks to CagePotato’s Movember Team Page. Keep growing them mo’s, and post your latest moustache photos on our Facebook wall…
skeletor asks: Did you ever feel bad during the no holds barred/no weight classes days destroying guys that were so much smaller then you?
Dan Severn: I never felt bad because of size difference but I did sort of feel bad in general because it was not in my nature to be violent. For example, when I had Oleg Taktarov in the cage and was dropping knees on him, and he couldn’t defend himself. The match wasn’t being halted and he didn’t have the rational mindset to tap out. Even my first loss against Royce Gracie, I was staring right into a man’s soul realizing what crude submissions that I knew weren’t working and recognizing that I was going to have to strike this guy. So I struggled more with my conscience then I ever did with an opponent. I think I am cut from a different cloth than a lot of different fighters who came from checkered pasts and were used to getting into fights. I wasn’t used to that. For instance, if you look at the fight between me and Ken Shamrock, he was adopted and grew up on the mean streets fighting. My upbringing was completely different. I don’t really understand that mentality.
When I was inside Royce’s guard, from my perspective I was in the dominant position because as a wrestler, I was used to being on top. As I am fighting I can see Royce looking over to his father in his corner, and I could see exactly what was going through his mind. His mind was saying, “Hey dad, I’m hanging in here but if you want to throw in the towel, I wouldn’t hold it against you.” Helio actually had the towel in his hand and lifted his arm up a little bit and then shook his head no. I remember thinking, you old bastard…you would sacrifice your kid for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.