While Dan Severn may be known as “The Beast” inside cage, outside of it, he’s one of MMA’s biggest supporters and ambassadors who uses his fame to help further many causes as best he can.
This coming Thursday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York, Severn will be among the celebrities (including current UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar) lending his support to the Kickin’ It anti-bullying program at one of their premier events of the year.
“I found out about the Kickin’ It program a little over a year ago in New Jersey at another event,” said Severn. “I was approached by one of the organizers of it and I liked what they stood for and what they’re doing. I’m big into youth programs altogether, so I’m on board and I’ll be over at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square in NYC Thursday night.”
A press release about the upcoming event describes the program as, “A unique and aggressive course of action designed to enhance students’ lives by improving the overall school and social climate, ensuring a safe and healthy environment by providing programs, scholarships, resources, assistance, guidance and support.”
It is bullying’s effect on children that had Severn most wanting to show support for the program.
“Bullies have always existed,” he said. “People just tend to pick on people for whatever reason. There’s so many different reasons, whether it be rational or irrational to why bullying takes place.
“Kids don’t get the opportunity to pick out their parents or where they live or things of that nature. They’re pretty much subject to the nature of their environment. So anything can help to bring about something positive to a child or a teenager, I’m really big about that. It’s all about turning a bad situation into a good one.”
Known for his ferocity in competition, Severn surprisingly admitted that he’s never been combative outside of it.
“I guess I’ve always been kind of known as the gentle giant,” he said. “I was kind of the helper, the keeper, of my smaller friends.
“Ironically, with me being involved in the UFC, especially when it was the NHB era where there were very few rules and no weight classes or time limits, I’ve never actually been in a physical altercation in my life.”
At 52 years old, Severn is still actively competing in MMA and going strong with over 100 credited victories. But he acknowledges that Father Time catches up even with the best of us, thus he intends exit the cage for good sometime next year.
“By the end of 2012, I will be done,” he said. “I’m just trying to get a couple of key-type matches to take place by 2012, and if they take place, great, if not, then so be it, at least I attempted one last hurrah.
“My goal after 2012 is to put my energies into other areas. It will still be MMA, but it will be more like a good will ambassador working with different athletic commissions and education about what MMA is all about.”
While his time fighting may be coming to an end in the near future, Severn doesn’t intend on slowing down when it comes to supporting causes he believes in, like he will be doing Thursday night in NYC.
“I know that the early happenings start about 6:30, but the main deal with the Hard Rock Cafe and Kickin’ It program really gets going from 7:30 to 9:30PM,” he closed out. “I will be there and I will be in support of this program and I will be doing all that I do.
“If people want to know more about what I’ve got on my plate, check out DanSevern.com.”