Whether it was his trademark mustache, his patriotic trunks or his no-nonsense approach to fighting, Don Frye left a lasting mark on the sport of mixed martial arts.
Frye wrestled collegiately at Arizona State University and Oklahoma State University before he made the transition to MMA in 1996 and finished his first three opponents in a little more than three minutes combined. His career covered 25 years by the time it was over, “The Predator” having compiled a 20-9-1 record across various promotions, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride Fighting Championships. Frye was enshrined in the pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame in 2016.
Now more than eight years removed from Frye’s final appearance inside the cage, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
54: Years of age. Frye was born on Nov. 23, 1965 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
8: Seconds needed for Frye to knock out the 400-pound Thomas Ramirez in the UFC 8 tournament quarterfinals on Feb. 16, 1996. It remains one of the six fastest knockouts in UFC history.
5: Sub-minute finishes on his resume, including his aforementioned blowout of Ramirez. Frye stopped Sam Adkins 48 seconds into their affair at UFC 8, put away Mark Hall with an Achilles lock 20 seconds into their UFC “Ultimate Ultimate 1996” pairing on Dec. 7, 1996, throttled Eric Valdez 49 seconds into their confrontation at Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 5 on June 20, 1997 and wiped out Bryan Pardoe with punches at No Limit Fighting “Heavy Hands” on Jan. 26, 2008.
15: Wins in his first 16 professional appearances, culminating with his epic encounter with Yoshihiro Takayama at Pride 21. Frye suffered his only defeat in that stretch to Mark Coleman in the UFC 10 tournament final.
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83: Significant strikes landed against Takyama, 66 of them to the head. The fight lasted only 6:10, as Frye dispatched his Japanese counterpart with first-round punches.
1: Draw on his resume. Frye fought to a stalemate with Ruben Villareal at a King of the Cage event in 2006. They met again a little more than five years later in Gladiator Challenge, where Villareal knocked out “The Predator” in the first round.
2: Tournament titles in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Frye emerged victorious in eight-man draws at UFC 8 and UFC “Ultimate Ultimate 1996.”
18: Career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission, accounting for 90 percent of Frye’s total.
11: Organizations in which he competed during his 31-fight career. Frye went 9-1 in the UFC, 3-4 in Pride, 3-1 in K-1, 1-1 in Shark Fights, 1-0 in U-Japan, 1-0 United Shoot Wrestling Federation, 1-0 in Inoki Genome Federation, 1-0 in No Limit Fighting, 0-0-1 in King of the Cage, 0-1 in Deep and 0-1 in Gladiator Challenge.
1,408: Days between victories—the longest such drought of Frye’s career. “The Predator” was winless in five appearances between June 24, 2002 and May 2, 2006.
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