|11-09-2002, 04:54 PM||#1|
Total Points: 0
Frye Interview from Pridefc.com
PRIDE Fighting Championships: What have you been up to since your fight with Le Banner?
Don Frye: Sitting Around, feeling sorry for myself. Trying to figure out what the hell happened. I took a couple weeks off and then I got back into training.
PRIDE: What did you think when you got the offer for this fight with Yoshida?
Don Frye: I was excited. I think it's a great honor. I like Yoshida. He's one of the best athletes to ever come out of Japan. To be able to match skills with someone like that is a great honor and will require a lot of work on my part.
PRIDE: Did you have any reservations about taking this fight? (If so, what?)
Don Frye: No, not at all. I heard that he requested me so there's no way I'm going to turn his request down.
PRIDE: When you fought Takayama in June, you said that you were retiring from Mixed Martial Arts. Why did you decide to come back this time? Did something happen between then and now?
Don Frye: When I came back and fought Le Banner, it was obvious that I wasn't retiring. I guess God won't let me retire yet.
PRIDE: What's your impression of Yoshida?
Don Frye: He's an Olympic gold medallist. He's a world champion. To get in the ring with someone like that, is a once in a lifetime chance.
PRIDE: What did you think when you heard that Yoshida asked for you specifically?
Don Frye: I'm excited. To request to fight me, it means that he's got a lot of respect for my abilities. To fight a world champion and an Olympic champion…that's something not everyone gets to do.
PRIDE: Did you see the Yoshida/Gracie fight?
Don Frye: Yeah.
PRIDE: What did you think of that fight?
Don Frye: I want Yuji (Shimada) to referee my fight. That's my politically correct answer.
PRIDE: As you know, Yoshida is a gold medal Olympic champion in Judo. How do you think that will benefit him in his fight with you?
Don Frye: Everyone says that he's a rookie but he's not a rookie. The guys had 2 or 3,000 matches plus training 8 hours a day for many years. There's no rookie aspect about him. He's ready to go. He's a trained professional.
PRIDE: Are you going to just go in and slug it out with him?
Don Frye: All my friends are warning me "Don't play Judo with him! Don't play Judo with him!" because I have a tendency to fight the other guy's style. Who knows what I'm going to do?
PRIDE: This will be Yoshida's first fight with real striking. What do you think about him fighting you while he is still new to striking?
Don Frye: He's the most decorated athlete to come into MMA. It used to be Mark Coleman. Coleman was on the US Olympic team and the Pan Am champion. And know Yoshida is because Yoshida is a 2-time world champ and an Olympic champ. Being the most decorated athlete, he's at the top of his level. He's not going to come in and start at the bottom. I really respect him. I'm glad he gave me the opportunity to fight him.
PRIDE: Yoshida said he would wear his gi when he fights. Do you think that will affect the fight?
Don Frye: Of course it will affect the fight. That's why he's wearing it. That's what he's comfortable in. Psychologically, he's planning on me grabbing the gi out of habit. So, that'll work to his advantage. That's why all my friends are telling me not to play Judo with him.
PRIDE: I've heard that you have some Judo experience. Is that true?
Don Frye: I'm a second-degree black belt. I've been doing Judo for 8 or 10 years.
PRIDE: Is there any chance that you'll wear your do-gi when you fight Yoshida?
Don Frye: I don't know. That's one of the things I'm thinking about.
PRIDE: Yoshida also said that he wants you to teach him what being a pro is about. What will you teach him in your fight?
Don Frye: I can't teach him anything. The guy is obviously a class act. He's a true sportsman and a true competitor. He has all the class in the world to come into MMA and formally request to fight me and not ask for special rules. He's at the top of his game, Judo, which is one of the most disciplined sports in the world. There's nothing I can teach him. The guy is already a professional. He's got all my respect.
PRIDE: What do you think makes a "Pro" fighter?
Don Frye: A lot of it has to do with the way you respect your opponent, the way you respect your training/sparring partners, the way you respect your fans and conduct yourself in front of people who are your fans and also in front of people who don't know anything about the sport. The way you conduct yourself in the public eye. Not only are you representing yourself but also your sport and the promoter's. You want to represent them properly. You just don't want to give anything a black eye. I think that's the way professionals should conduct themselves. Especially, the way they treat the fans. I mean, you see these baseball players making millions of dollars and then they've got to charge the fans $20 for an autograph. There's not reason for that.
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