After 18 years and more than 120 fights, “The Beast” is hanging up
Severn announced Monday that he has retired from active
competition in mixed martial arts, the sport he helped pioneer in
the early days of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a post on his official website titled “Another Chapter Comes to
a Close,” the 54-year-old Michigan native stated that his goal for
2012 was to conclude the fighting portion of his career.
“I was attempting to do my own self-directed retirement tour in the
last couple of years, reaching out to only three people,” wrote
Severn, who said he had pursued rematches with fellow UFC Hall of
Famers Royce Gracie,
Shamrock and Mark Coleman.
“It seems as though these matches will not take place for whatever
reasons and my life now goes on to the next chapter.”
Despite his most desired fights not coming to fruition, Severn
stayed busy in the past two years, competing in 11 bouts throughout
North America while also taking part in pro-wrestling matches and
“It has been difficult to juggle so many different parts of my
career, but that is when opportunity presented itself... such as my
MMA career beginning at the age of 37, and now ending at age 54.
Father Time is telling me, it is time to let go,” Severn said. “I
have learned over time that the only constant factor is change. It
will happen, and there is nothing we can do to stop it, so smile,
hold on, and embrace it for all that it has to offer, and hopefully
you too will have the ride of your life!”
Severn will continue to perform in pro-wrestling through the end of
2013, and also plans to remain active in MMA as a teacher,
commentator and ambassador. He also wrote that he intends to
increase hours at his Michigan Sports Camps training facility in
Coldwater, Mich., along with penning a biography and doing more
public speaking engagements.
A former NCAA All-American wrestler at Arizona State, Severn
transitioned to MMA in 1994 when he debuted at UFC 4. While his run
in that one-night tournament ended in a submission loss to Gracie,
Severn would capture the tournament crown in his next attempt at
UFC 5. Despite last competing in the Octagon at UFC 27, he was
inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame during UFC 52 in April 2005.
Severn leaves the sport with an impressive career record of
101-19-7, including 60 wins via submission.