DON FRYE JOINS UFC HALL OF FAME
Last Saturday’s thrilling UFC 199 event in Los Angeles was crammed with stunning announcements – among them the news Don Frye would be joining the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
Known as “The Predator”, Frye stormed into the UFC back in 1996 and had an immediate impact on the evolving MMA scene. In his first event – UFC 8 - Frye smashed his way through three opponents to win the single-night tournament in less than four combined minutes. The former NCAA Div-1 wrestler, pro-boxer and judoka then returned to pick up big wins at UFC 9 and UFC 10 before winning the Ultimate Ultimate tournament.
That was his last appearance in the UFC before he left for a career as a PRIDE fighter and pro-wrestler in Japan. But on Sunday July 10 - two decades removed from his reign of terror over the Octagon – Don Frye returns to the UFC to take his place in the UFC Hall of Fame Pioneers Wing.
Frye joins fellow Pioneer Minotauro Nogueira, Contributor Bob Meyrowitz and a soon-to-be announced inductee in the Fight Wing in the Class of 2016.
UFC President Dana White said: “Don Frye is one of the baddest guys to ever step into the Octagon. He’s a real fighter. He’s a bad-ass. He absolutely belongs in the UFC Hall of Fame.”
Frye. 50, was at home enjoying UFC 199 – and learned of his induction like everyone else.
The Predator said: “It was a hell of a surprise. I’m watching the fights at home and I heard “UFC Hall of Fame” and I saw a young guy with a mustache walking to the Octagon and I thought ‘Wait, Dan Severn is already in the UFC Hall of Fame, isn’t he?’ It took a second or so before I realized it was me.
“I didn’t see this coming. I’ve thought about would I got in one day, but I didn’t know if it would happen. It’s good to be appreciated.”
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The UFC 2016 Hall of Fame Ceremony will stream LIVE on UFC FIGHT PASS on Sunday, July 10, the day after UFC 200.
For a taster on what Frye’s induction speech will be like, check out the UFC FIGHT PASS Original – Fightography: Don Frye – for free here.
FRYE WILL BE INDUCTED BY MENTOR – AND FELLOW LEGEND – DAN SEVERN
The FIGHT PASS Blog can exclusively announce that Frye will be inducted by his long-time friend and mentor Dan “The Beast” Severn.
Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame himself back in 2005, Severn met Frye while coaching the Arizona NCAA wrestling team. It was the man known to UFC fans as “The Beast” who brought Frye to the UFC and the pair have maintained a close friendship to this day.
Frye said: “Dan was there at the start, he should be there for this. I’ve been friends with Dan for decades – it is measured by decades not years. Dan got me into the UFC, he was my coach in wrestling and I wanted to follow him to the UFC and he made it all happen. Put it this way, I call my family maybe twice a year, and I call Dan twice a month.”
And Severn added: “I’m so happy for Don. He’s always been a Hall of Famer and I’m happy this year he’s getting his recognition. I’ve been given around five minutes for my speech, so I’m trying to figure out how many (PG-13) Don Frye stories I can fit into that time!”
Severn has also been given the Fightography treatment, and FIGHT PASS subscribers can see it here.
FEDOR ON FIGHT PASS – JUNE 17
Another big piece of news over the weekend was the confirmation that Fedor Emelianenko will fight live on FIGHT PASS on Friday, June 17.
The near mythological heavyweight will headline the EFN event from St. Petersburg in his native Russia, taking on UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado.
Fedor – as he is referred to by his legion of fans – ruled the PRIDE FC heavyweight division from 2003 until the Japanese promotion merged with the UFC in 2007. In that time he defeated Mirko Cro Cop, Minotauro Nogueira, Mark Hunt and Mark Coleman and – post-PRIDE – also beat the likes of Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia.
The Last Emperor is currently on a four-fight winning streak while Maldonado is looking to shock the world after a five-year run in the UFC.
To get a taste of what The Last Fedor is all about, check out his January 2009 KO win over Andrei Arlovski for free.
FIGHT PASS TO LIVE STREAM OVER DOZEN HOURS
For the past five Julys, the hardest of the hardcore UFC fans have made the pilgrimage to the spiritual home of the UFC – Las Vegas, Nevada - for the annual UFC International Fight Week.
But for those fans who can’t make it to the Fight Capital of the World (this time!) – UFC FIGHT PASS is your answer.
FIGHT PASS will live stream all the exciting programming from the UFC Expo’s Hall of Fame stage, including, of course, the 2016 UFC Hall of Fame Ceremony itself.
The full schedule will be announced shortly but the FIGHT PASS Blog can reveal that there will be a Legends Panel involving Don Frye, Dan Severn, Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman.
To get a taste of what will be streaming for three days on July 8, 9 and 10, check out this panel from last year for free: http://www.ufc.tv/video/international-fight-week-legends-panel.