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MMA HALL OF FAME Nominee » Dan Severn

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Dan Severn • Class of 2004 • Debuted December 1994 vs. Anthony Macias.
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by Corey Beherns

Few people have impacted the sport of MMA in the way that Dan Severn has. Born on June 8th, 1958, Severn began his journey to the Octagon as a Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestler attending Arizona state university. He would go on the become a two-time All American while in attendance, and later receive multiple prestigious awards for his abilities. Severn made his leap into MMA at UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors, in 1994. He was the first world-class wrestler to enter the UFC, and would set the precedence for how dominant this base would become. Severn ultimately lost the first tournament to the legendary Royce Gracie via Triangle choke, a submission he had never heard of, but he had established himself as a truly formidable force.

Severn returned shortly thereafter for UFC 5, and was able to win the tournament in its entirety, thus cementing his place amongst the best that the sport had to offer. He would then go on to win the UFC's Ultimate Ultimate 1995, which was considered to be the toughest and most competitive tournament in UFC history. This win allowed Severn to rematch Ken Shamrock for the UFC superfight championship, which he would take via split decision. After only three years with the promotion, Severn had already been able to capture three individual titles.

This marked the end of Dan Severn the UFC champion, and ushered in an entirely new era where he would go on to fight in countless promotions, eventually winning the Elite 1 heavyweight championship in 2011. At the end of his illustrious career, he was able to retire with an MMA record of 101-19-7, and a legacy as the first wrestler in modern mixed martial arts.

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