Don Frye on courage of fellow legend Kazushi Sakuraba: 'I'm just a child compared to a giant'

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Don Frye knows he had guts back in his fighting days. But still not quite as much as fellow MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba.

Sakuraba, who became known for his willingness to step up against opponents who largely surpassed his 6-foot frame, was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this year. And Frye, who received the same honors in 2016, was tasked with making his formal introduction during the official ceremony held in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Although Frye (20-9-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) ended up getting way off track handling that particular task, he shared his thoughts on Sakuraba (26-17-1) with MMAjunkie Radio a few hours before.

“He had the biggest heart and courage than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Frye said. “I had a pretty good heart back when I was fighting, but it’s not even the same solar system compared to that guy. I’m just a child compared to a giant when it comes to his perseverance.

“He put books in his pants to be able to weigh in for the UFC fight over there in Japan.”

The event that Frye refers to took place in 1997. In what turned out to be Sakuraba’s only trip to the octagon, he fought Conan Silveira twice in one night. The first, which ended on a botched stoppage, led to a quite literal immediate rematch. Despite a 60-pound disadvantage, Sakuraba settled it with a first-round armbar submission.

Of course, MMA has seen a number of changes in the two decades since. Rules and numerous weight classes have been introduced in order to ensure the physical safety of the fighters, making the David vs. Goliath type of battle a lot more rare – at least in the more mainstream MMA organizations.

But if you ask Frye, who met (and beat) the likes of former sumo wrestler Akebono inside a ring, they should be given credit for more than the sheer size of the opponents they went up against.

“You get these guys, they bitch about somebody being one pound overweight,” Frye said. “Sakuraba and I, we both fought guys who were twice our body weight. And more than that, too. You’re talking real athletes, too.

“You’re not talking just some big fat guy who just got off the couch. That’s an idiotic statement, when anybody says that. You’re talking real freaking athletes who are fighting.”

When it comes to his own career, Frye has a handful of meetings that he believes stand out. There is, of course, the grueling PRIDE 19 battle with Ken Shamrock that left lingering damage on both. There’s the PRIDE 21 demolition of Yoshihiro Takayama in 2002. There are the victorious battles with Amaury Bitetti and Tank Abbot, both in 1996.

But, oddly enough, Frye considers a losing battle his best one.

“I think the best fight was the loss to (Mark) Coleman, at UFC 10,” Frye said. “Because it showed to the world that I’m not just here – I’m (not) good with the win. I came to fight and I’ll stick into the fight. It showed me a lot about myself, too. I was happy.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2481 with Valentina Shevchenko and Don Frye

Stream or download Thursday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Valentina Shevchenko and Don Frye.

Shevchenko headlines UFC 213 on Saturday vs. champ Amanda Nunes. Frye presents Kazushi Sakuraba, who gets inducted tonight into the UFC Hall of Fame as a pioneer of the sport.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Valentina Shevchenko and Don Frye (in studio)

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Valentina Shevchenko and Don Frye.

Shevchenko headlines Saturday’s UFC 213 card in Las Vegas in a rematch with women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Nunes beat her in their first fight at UFC 196, then went on to win the title. Shevchenko is favored in the rematch. And UFC Hall of Famer Frye will join us in the studio. He’s in town to induct Kazushi Sakuraba into the Hall tonight.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
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  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie