Former UFC star Dan Severn was a recent guest on the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast. The former NWA World Champion opened up on a myriad of topic related to his time in MMA and professional wrestling. Highlights appear below.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
On Starting Cage Fighting Late In Life & His Secret To Longevity In MMA:
People are amazed what what I’ve done, especially if you look at the age. Let’s keep it really real right now. I started a cage fighting career at 37 years of age. Nobody starts a career at 37. You walk away, retire then, but that’s what opportunity presented itself. In my mindset, I said, ‘Let me try this. I’ll try it one time.’ One time went OK, ‘Well, let’s try another.’ One year led to five years, led to ten years, to even a twenty year career I had with this. Even in my final few years, when I’m realizing that I’m older than most of my opponents’ fathers, I started realizing maybe I better exit. I’m seeing opportunity. My brain is saying, ‘Boom boom boom,’ but the time the wire goes from the brain to my body, my body is saying, ‘Okaaaaaay.’ That’s not a good combination because when you lost at MMA, you are taking physical damage, physical harm, and I wanted to know that when my career came to an end, I’d have most of my mental faculties.
I wanted to still be able to move around physically to the best of my ability knowing that my biggest competition is Father Time. He’s the undisputed champ. I just wanted to stay in the game as long as possible, but wanted to have quality of life, as well. What is one of the main reasons for Dan Severn’s longevity in such a harsh sport? That is not trying to be something that I was not. I was a world class wrestler and when I walked into that octagon, I told myself, ‘Do not deviate from. I’m not gonna put my fists up there like I’m the Dukes of Hazzard. It ain’t gonna happen.’ I started my wrestling career back in 7th grade back in 1969. I didn’t start a cage fighting career until 1994. Even if I’d stopped wrestling altogether, the scale was never gonna balance on out…..I played to my strengths.
On His Ability To Stay Calm:
I’m very very relaxed. They actually have some doctors check my heart rate and they are shocked, as to how low my heart rate is before walking into an athletic contest where you can do everything except bite a person and stick a finger in their eye socket.
Severn Talks Life At 60:
I’m a 60 year old cat now. I don’t look 60. I don’t act 60 and if you’ve seen me out on the mat, I don’t move like I’m 60.
On What Motivated Him Through The Years:
To run as many years as I did, I always carried a picture of my kids and my family. That was the one picture I always carried. As I was about to walk into that cage or whatever, I’d take a look at it, ‘Why am I doing this?’ I’d look out there at my opponent and go, ‘I feel sorry for you because you stand between me and success. No hard feelings for what’s about to happen. I’ll shake your hand before. I’ll shake your hand after, but I’m about to discombobulate you in the process.’ That’s really what I did.
On Preferring Over The Top Character In Wrestling & Being A Throwback:
I like professional wrestling when you had these over-exaggerated characters. I liked when you had George ‘The Animal’ Steele. You had ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. You just had these over the top characters, the Hulk Hogan’s, the Ric Flair’s. I enjoyed that time frame of watching that, but at the same token, I should have been a throwback from days gone by. I should have been out there with the Harley Race’s, Lou Thesz. That would have been more my time era because I look liked those throwbacks from days gone by and that’s my skill set. I’m not gonna do crazy promos and I’m not gonna wear crazy outfits. The outfits I wore were the same outfits I wore in the UFC, the same wrestling shoes.
Readers may listen to Sean Mooney‘s interview with Dan Severn in its entirety below: