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5 oldest people to step into an MMA fight

Guess where these guys went looking for the fountain of youth?

Top 5 / Top 10 05 Nov 2017, 22:35 IST

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Ann Perez De Tejada made her MMA debut aged 69

There are fighters and then there are fighters. What's the difference, you ask? One involves a job description; the other, a state of mind. Make no mistake, mixed martial arts is one of the most punishing sports there is or will be. Its multifacetedness spawns a whirlwind of threats, to prepare for which, fighters must put themselves through the Spartan training regimes those disciplines demand.

But fighters can always prepare for particular opponents, can they not? Study their fights, analyse patterns, weight strengths and weaknesses and then strategise accordingly. But how do you prepare for something even more wearing, but where peril isn't as obvious as a punch or a kick? How do you design a gameplan for life?

There is no answer, except to live it. The exuberance of youth gives way to the temperance of age and daring to dream becomes chucklesome. Following your heart takes a lot of courage, but imagine doing it at an age when you have grandchildren. We set out on a quest to illuminate the names of these brave souls who made that leap of faith at a ripe age:

Honorable mention:

Dan Severn

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Severn won his first UFC title in 1995 and fought well into his fifties

Dan "The Beast" Severn made his MMA debut before many casual fans of the sport were even born - in 1994. His suplexes at UFC 4 to Anthony Marcias grabbed eyeballs and quite possibly were a rallying cry for amateur wrestlers looking for a career path. Severn established his credentials by winning UFC's Ultimate Ultimate 1995, where he beat the likes of Paul Varelans, Tank Abbott and Oleg Taktarov in the same night.

The UFC Hall of Famer was being trumpeted into WWE rings as a UFC badass long before Brock Lesnar, which in a way, makes him the original Beast. Severn spent a couple of years in the WWE, after which he returned to the independent circuit, where he is still active.

Dan Severn hung up his MMA gloves in 2013, at the age of 54 and with over a 100 wins. He is one of only 3 fighters to be able to make that claim. A comeback fight against Ken Shamrock was pencilled in 2016, but it never materialised.

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