MMA Legend, Pioneer Dan Severn Retires from Competition

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Dan Severn celebrates after winning the 8-man tournament at UFC 5 on April 7, 1995 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Dan Severn, mixed martial arts pioneer and one of the first fighters to compete in the UFC’s early days, retired from competition on Tuesday.

Severn made the announcement through his official website, stating he’s calling it quits after matches with Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock and Mark Coleman never came to fruition.

“I was attempting to do my own self-directed retirement tour in the last couple of years, reaching out to only three people: Mark Coleman, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie,” Severn wrote on “I spoke with two of them (Mark and Ken), and through [a] representative for Royce. It seems as though these matches will not take place for whatever reasons and my life now goes on to the next chapter.”

Severn added that he will still be involved with MMA, working with various companies to support the industry in roles such as play-by-play commentator, ambassador, as well as doing appearances.

“The MMA workshops and seminars will continue,” he wrote. “I have a lot of fun with them and enjoy the interaction with the young competitors … ”

Severn’s first documented MMA fight came at UFC 4, where he took on Anthony Macias in the first round of the promotion’s then-tournament format. He submitted Macias, as well as Marcus Bossett in the semifinals, both by rear-naked choke.

“The Beast” moved onto the finals where he met Royce Gracie. The two battled for nearly 16 minutes, but Severn was eventually submitted via triangle choke by the tournament champion.

Severn has also excelled as a professional wrester, and announced that 2013 would be his last year participating as an entertainer.

Severn finished his MMA career with a 101-19 record.

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