Dan Severn is a true trailblazer and an athlete way ahead of his time. Before Brock Lesnar decided to step inside the Octagon and when Japanese professional wrestling was restricted in popularity in the Eastern hemisphere, Dan Severn was making waves across the globe.
Dan Severn has over 100 professional mixed martial arts fights on his resume. He is also the winner of the UFC 5 tournament, beating the likes of Oleg Taktarov and Dave Beneteau.
He recently spoke with Lucha Libre Online in an exclusive interview. When asked about his preparation heading into the UFC's Octagon, Severn had a surprising response.
“Well, it's easy. I did none. Big zero and that's the funny part about it because you know when I say that why I'm such a unique person.”
He elaborated further when asked about the UFC 5 tournament.
“I've [only] done two training camps in a 20-year career. Once for 32 days for UFC number five. And once for 35 days for UFC, the Ultimate Ultimate, where they brought back the champions and runner-ups.
"Now, there is there one other little short stint for five days and an hour and a half a day. And when I was told I was going to be in UFC #4. I drove from Coldwater, Michigan over to Lima, Ohio, and I worked out at Al Snow’s Body Slammers Gym.
"A professional wrestling ring was the closest thing I could find to a cage. So I had Al Snow, two other professional wrestlers protegees, and one pair of boxing gloves between the three of them. So they would put on the boxing gloves and they would try to punch, kick and do whatever submission is they could do.
I just kept moving around the ring avoiding them, clinching them, taking them down, throw them down with amateur wrestling.”
It is interesting to note that while Severn had an impressive amateur wrestling background, Al Snow has a decent martial arts background too having trained in karate and boxing.
You can watch the full interview here:
Al Snow was Dan Severn’s first MMA and pro-wrestling coach
Speaking with Hannibal TV, Al Snow gave more insight into the story.
Snow mentioned that he had met Severn through a common friend ‘Dennis’ who was a player-coach for the US Olympic team. Dan had expressed an interest in pro wrestling during that interaction.
Snow coached Dan Severn and he got into professional wrestling and UWFI – which was a precursor to UFC.
Wrestling promoter Phyllis Lee then got Dan Severn into the UFC 4 tournament after he was initially rejected.
Snow was then asked to train Dan Severn due to his martial arts background.
"It was different then, we didn't know what we were doing. It was purer and better because it was to see which style was better. MMA has its style now but back then we didn’t even know whom we were going to fight," Al Snow added.
You can also watch Sportskeeda's exclusive interview with Dan Severn here: