UFC Legacies: Don Frye

UFC Legacies: Don Frye
Photo by Prateek Katyal

There are many legends in the UFC, and many fighters whose era has long passed that we will never forget. But, there are some legends that stand out from the rest and these are the legends who pass down legacies that make us remember just how epic the UFC can be. 

Sure, these days the UFC lines aren’t always exciting, matches are not always filled with tension and anticipation, but they do not have to be. Having absolute legends in the arena makes us excited, but remembering these legends lets us remember, it can always be better. 

Don Frye was one of these legends, and he may be out of the game now, but when he was in it, he was fierce. However, he is a man who still loves his sport with a furious passion, as many of us will have seen. 

But, what legacy does he leave in his wake?

His Last Fight 

Cementing a legacy in the UFC means paying attention to the players final fights, most will never go unmentioned, and most of the great solidify their historical places with long term championship titles, domineering fights, and insane abilities, typically in their prime. 

However, the final fight is always a massive thing, usually coming out of retirement to do so, or due to their impending retirement. No matter if they win or if they lose, many just want to see them right one last time. 

For Don Frye, this was no different. His fans were shocked to hear that his last ever bout would be in 2011. It happened during the ‘Gladiator Challenge: Mega Stars’. It was a fight in which Don Frye lost to Ruben Villareal through a knockout only 2.5 minutes into the fight. 

However, this was not his only scheduled fight, he was ready for anything to end his career. Sadly he was unable to handle Rubens barrage, he lost his last 2 fights of his career, both in a single round, but he wasn’t salty about it, which probably shows more about who he is as a man and a fighter overall.

UFC 270 

However, Don Frye did not leave fans’ eyes after his last fight in 2011. He was still in the limelight after. In 2022, he really shocked everyone. 

UFC 270 was an event that MMA fans were looking forward to all across the world. Ngannou stamped all over the heavyweight class, Moreno and Figueiredo had a fight to decide who took home the flyweight division title and Nurmagodemov treated the crowd to a submission win. 

As well as all this though, there was more, it was not just the fighters in the octagon arena that had eyes on them. Don Frye was in attendance, the legend of over a decade ago, he came back for more, and was giving out free punches. 

He was present, watching the fights. He was a legend to many, having competed in some of the oldest tournaments, having fought thrice in a night in UFC 8 and UFC 10. He was dominant in ground fights and forced submissions to no end.

He was an amazing striker though, and in 2016 he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. His legacy was cemented, but legacies, no matter how concrete can get tainted. He did get himself in some trouble, when he got into a fight in the crowd.

The Legend Attacks. 

TMZ shared the footage of what happened. In this footage you can see Don Frye in a rather heated conversation with someone in the audience. Eventually the member of the audience offers out his hand to Don Frye, and at first he reciprocates, and it seems all will be fine.

Suddenly, Frye attacks, swiftly jabbing at the face of the member of the audience. It would seem that he threw the only punch in the ‘argument’. He then walks to his seat, shouting at the rest of the crowd while annoyed. 

There is still a lot of uncertainty about why or how this happened, or what made it happen. However, it must have hurt to be punched by a legend in MMA, and sadly this altercation is now also cemented into Don Frye’s legacy.

About Don Frye

Don Frye was born in 1965, and was a mixed martial artist, actor, and pro wrestler. He was actually one of the first well-rounded fighters in the sport, winning UFC 8, and the Ultimate 96 fights. 

He retired from MMA in ‘97 in order to pursue pro wrestling in Japan, and he became NJPW’s leading heel very fast. But eventually, he returned to Pride in 2001, eventually left for Hero’s, and K-1 in 2004, he returned for the final Pride event in 2007.

His Stats

Don Frye fought from 1996-1998, then 2001-2009, and had his last fight in 2011. 

His pro boxing record saw 2 wins by knockout, 5 losses, 4 by knockout and 1 draw. His MMA career saw 20 wins out of 31, with 8 of his wins by knockout, 10 by submission, 1 by decision, and 1 by disqualification. He had 9 losses, 1 draw, and 1 no contest.


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