When we think back to the early days of MMA -- an era when gloves were optional, and the rules had even more room for interpretation than they do now -- we often talk about the "toughness" or "grittiness" of the athletes involved. When we use either term, it's only a matter of time before Don Frye's name makes its way into the conversation.
A two-time UFC tournament winner, Frye forever sealed his place in the annals of MMA history with victories over the likes of Tank Abbott, Gary Goodridge, and Ken Shamrock, to name just a few fellow legends. While his most memorable performance did not take place in the UFC at all -- I'm referring, of course, to his brawl-to-end-all-brawls with Yoshihiro Takayama at Pride 21 -- Frye is considered to be one of the very first fighters to personify a "complete" mixed martial artist at a time when the sport consisted mainly of style vs. style matchups.
This past July, Frye became the latest UFC veteran to be inducted into the promotion's Hall of Fame, joining such prestigious company as Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (who was also inducted at the same ceremony) at the UFC's Fan Expo. Now, his full induction speech has been made available online via the UFC's Youtube channel.
Sporting a mustache that would make Ron Swanson leave the room in tears of shame, Frye was his usual grizzled, hilarious self while accepting the honor, making sure to thank Dan Severn for getting him involved in the UFC in the first place.
"I was going through my first divorce and I figured I could make a few bucks while kicking some ass," joked Frye.
"I'd been kicked in the head by a horse a few times, so I figured, 'what the hell?' If I could take that, then getting punched by a guy in a pair of white pajamas couldn't be so bad."
Check out Frye's entire speech below.
If it doesn't add at least a bushel of hair to your chest in the process, then I'd recommend downing a fifth of whisky and firing a revolver into the air in his honor.