Here at the MMA all DAY Blog, I’ve been scouring the internet for videos and reviews to bring to you all about MMA history and current events. Don Frye was one of the early legends in MMA, and a retrospective of his career and contributions to MMA is warranted. And he is seriously crazy as you in this video interview I came across recently. Well, just look at it, then we will talk lol!
You go Don!
Frye first appeared on the MMA scene in February of 1996, when he fought as a ‘David’ in the UFC 8 “David versus Goliath” held in Puerto Rico. He went home that night with the UFC title, winning three fights (Thomas Ramirez, Sam Adkins and Gary Goodridge).
He then destroyed Brazilian Amaury Bitteti at UFC 9, and pulled off two wins back in the UFC 10 tournament before facing Mark Coleman in the finals, where he lost.
But in the span of those three UFC’s in six months, you could see changes in the ‘Predator’. In his opening appearance he was the nice guy Tom Selleck look alike. By UFC 10 he was threatening to kill people. This was noticed by no less a historian of MMA than David ‘Tank’ Abbott at the time.
The first time I met Don Frye was in October of 1999, at a small event in Wichita Falls, Texas. Don, who was already a big star in Japan and known as a legend in the growing US MMA community, was there acting as a corner man for one of his students in a grappling contest. (It was the ADCC North American Trials, the student was Rainey Martinez, who lost to eventual tourney winner Travis Lutter).
Why was he a big star in Japan? No Don Frye retro is complete with the clips of his fight Yoshihiro Takeyama. Take a look at this stuff -
That is required viewing for MMA fans. Frye did much more than we have gone over here, and he was always entertaining to the MMA fans.
But that night in Wichita Falls? How did that night end? Well long after the fights, much of the crew that ran the show was at one of the ‘local establishments’ and it seems that a quick look in the phone book and a cab ride had led Mr Frye there as well. Don was drinking beer and enjoying the dancers, and come closing time it is hard to get him calmed down! He was ready to go!
The last I saw Don that night he was talking to a dancer and a waitress, and in his gruff voice I could hear him say ‘You show up at my hotel at 4, you get there at 6.’ Glad to see Don hasn’t changed!