MMA legend Don Frye - set to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame later this year - had some incredible battleÂ during his 15-year MMA career. In an FO exclusive, Frye discusses some of his personal favorite fights.
1.Â vs. Amaury Bitetti (UFC 9, 05/17/1996)
Early UFC eventsâ limited rules led toÂ some brutal fights. Frye explains:Â âThat guy was a machine. HeÂ came to fight that night and thereÂ was no killing the guy. That guyÂ almost died. Cal Worsham punctured his lungÂ in his fight that night and he had to be taken toÂ the hospital and as he was leaving the hospital heÂ said he saw Amaury Bitetti laying in the ICU withÂ tubes sticking out of his head, trying to relieve theÂ pressure and swelling on his brain from our fight.Â There is no quit in that guy. They had to stop thatÂ fight. I was trying to kill him.â
2. vs. Tank Abbott (UFC Ultimate Ultimate 96, 12/7/1996)
âWe knew it was going to be a tough tournament.Â Right before the fight my brother made me swearÂ not to go toe-to-toe with Tank. He said, âBe smart.Â You used to be a wrestler. Take him down.â AsÂ soon as we started fighting my brother turned toÂ the other cornermen and said, âGod damn it I toldÂ that dumbass not to punch with him!â I have suchÂ selfish tunnel vision I donât even know whatâs goingÂ on around me. The whole world could explodeÂ around me and I wouldnât even know it. Iâm justÂ concerned about the fight and nothing else.â
3.Â vs. Gilbert Yvel (Pride 16, 09/24/2001)
An abductor injury before a return to MMA after fourÂ years would have stopped most men, but not âTheÂ Predatorâ. âThey probably shot it up (with Novocain)Â 45 minutes to an hour before the fight,â he says. âTheÂ first takedown â boom. My corner said they could hearÂ it explode. I couldnât move after that. God bless GilbertÂ Yvel. He came to fight. All he would have had to do wasÂ stick and move. I would have never been able to catchÂ him. I couldnât move sideways. He decided to take bothÂ of my eyeballs home with him as a souvenir. Right whenÂ the referee stopped it the first time he asked if I was OK.Â I told him I couldnât see. Over my shoulder my cornerÂ said, âShut up, Frye! Donât complain. Get after it.â WhenÂ a fighter complains heâs done, heâs out of the fight. IÂ said, âOK. Iâm good. Letâs go.â It was great. It was quite aÂ welcome back to the fight world. He poked each eyeballÂ three times. The eyes heal quickly. I was only blindÂ throughout the fight. It was blurry the rest of the nightÂ but they healed up within a week or so.â
Read the full interview with Don Frye inside the July edition ofÂ Fighters Only - on sale now.