Don Frye has never been shy about speaking his mind. And after such an illustriously mustachioed career, why should he? You ask him a question, you're going to get an answer. Of course, whether or not you like that answer, he doesn't really care too much about that part.
So when Frye appeared on last Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, it wasn't surprising that the sound bytes starting pouring like cheap bourbon at an old country saloon. Really, it was a classic Don Frye performance, with the discussion veering from relatively ordinary topics like how retirement has been treating him and his recent feud with UFC President Dana White, to more interesting Frye-isms on his growing contempt for Steven Seagal, the intricacies of mustache upkeep, and why we've all turned into a bunch of pansies.
The following are excerpts from what predictably became quite an entertaining conversation.
On his fabled mustache and his longer hair:
"Every couple hours my mustache does something on its own, and I ain't responsible for it. I try and shave it off but it just ends up eating the razors."
"(The hair) does look good, don't it? I got this hippie thing going. I'm out here in Hollywood doing stunts and crap like that. Grow your hair, grow your facial hair, and it's a lot easier to cut it off than to wear a wig or glue it on. I ain't much of one for wigs or makeup. Look at this now. This is hair baby. This is hair. I look like Kenny F***ing Powers, baby."
On his feud with Dana White:
"I got caught up in all this internet stuff, squabbles and all that, but my generation don't really do that. I'm not doing it anymore, so as far as I'm concerned, Dana who? I'm done with it. If we want to talk, then we can sit down over a beer and talk face-to-face because I'm not playing this bulls**t game anymore."
"Look, it's the Fertitta's checkbooks. It's Joe Silva doing the booking. Okay? That's all there is to it, and those three guys are very respectful. You don't hear any of them cussing or calling anybody foul (names). Those three guys are good guys, and they run the organization. ... If (White) doesn't respect what I've done for the sport, why the hell should I respect that he's using someone else's money, somebody else's booking intelligence, and wasting everybody's time on the goddamn TV. ... I know (he doesn't respect me.) Look at the way he talks about me. If he did, he wouldn't say that. And if he does respect me, well then I'll never say anything bad about him again. I'm trying not to right now."
On fighter pay, and the way the world has changed:
"The goddamn gate at the fights pays for the whole payroll for the show. So everything pay-per-view is just icing on the cake for the promoters. I mean, I can't sit here and badmouth them. It's a good gig if you can get it. But, s***, I ain't got it, and I don't want it."
"Promoters (are) out to make money. Back when I was in college, you know, a hundred years ago, we had a guest speaker come in from the insurance company. He said the first three rules of the insurance company is ‘make money, make money, make money.' And it seems like it's been working for them. Hell, those guys run the goddamn country. You can't buy a roll of toilet paper without going through an insurance company. You can't drive your car. You can't swim in a pool. You've got to wear a helmet to ride a freaking bicycle? We've lost our freaking minds. We're pansies. This is the greatest country in the world, and it's turned into a bunch of pansies."
"Nah, I'm not looking for a fight. I'm just looking to make a living. Anything that pays my bills. I don't care if I have to sweep the floor, wash dishes, there's no job beneath anybody. What's beneath a person is just sitting on your a** and getting a welfare check. Get out there and earn your keep on this planet, and there's nothing below you."
"Eventually you've got to grow a set of balls and you've got to leave the house. You've got to take care of yourself. That's what's wrong with society today. Everybody's a goddamn victim, and everybody's blaming everybody else. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and make your own way on the planet."
On his next move:
"What the hell am I doing? Whatever Molly tells me to do it what I do, pardner. Molly's my wife, she's the boss of the organization."
On the sport's evolution:
"Sure there's a lot of work to be done, but it's some tremendous turnaround from when I was fighting, last century. We were illegal. We were kicked out of cities because of that piece of s*** John McCain. One of the dirtiest people in congress. Or the Senate. Whatever that tard is."
"The sport has evolved tremendously and the performance of the athletes is tremendous. I think it's fantastic. You know, the athletes maybe (need to) get paid more, but it's none of my business according to Mr. White, so I'll go my own way."
On helping out up-and-coming fighters:
"You know what, pardner? I've given unsolicited advice several times in my life, and when I do I end up getting knocked on my a**, so I quit giving unsolicited advice. Any of the young fighters who want it, they know how to contact me. And so far none of them have. They're all experts in their fields, so good luck to you ladies."
On Chael Sonnen:
"I enjoy Chael immensely. ... He understands the name of the game. He understands half of fighting is selling the show. Anderson Silva should've wrote Chael Sonnen a check for a million dollars for all the P.R. he's done. I mean, goddamn. Anderson Silva is a great fighter, but that's it, he's a great fighter. He can't talk long enough to tell you how to get across the street. And he's got that big fata** Steven Seagal eating potato chips in his corner. I'd be afraid if I fell down in front of Seagal he'd start chewing on my toes!"
More on Sensei Seagal:
"I'll tell you what, the last month or so I was standing there in the grocery aisle or somewhere, the airport, I don't know, and I read something about Steven Seagal saying he was the first mixed martial arts fighter on the planet. My ass! I guarantee you, back in 1993 or '96, he was one of them karate idiots who was bad-mouthing the mixed martial arts and telling everybody that they were bastardizing the art of karate and it would go nowhere. It was just a meaningless sign of the times and next year everybody will forget about the ground game, and everything would go back to the traditional hooky-pooky."