UFC 8 tournament victor, Don ‘The Predator’ Frye has claimed that he’s open to the possibility of a return to professional mixed martial arts competition for the first time since December 2011 — and has expressed his interest in fighting current heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou.
Frye, 55, hasn’t competed professionally in 10-years, with his last outing coming in the form of a first round knockout loss to Ruben Villarreal under the Gladiator Challenge banner in Lincoln, California. The loss came as Frye’s ninth professionally, as well as his second consecutively and fifth overall knockout blemish.
A 31-fight veteran, Frye holds a professional record of 20-9 and was inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame back in 2016 as part of the Pioneer Class wing. The Arizona veteran scored the UFC 8 one-night tournament crown with a submission win over Gary Goodridge. Frye also won the UFC Ultimate Ultimate 1996 tournament via a first round rear-naked choke win over Tank Abbott in the final, after prior victories against both Goodridge again, and Mark Hall.
Appearing on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience recently, Frye flirted with a return to professional mixed martial arts. And noted his willingness to score a fight with currently minted UFC heavyweight champion, Ngannou.
“(I want to) make a comeback,” Frye said to Rogan while winking. “Sh*t, yeah. I’d love to fight (Francis) Ngannou. He’s amazing.” When asked by UFC colour commentator, Rogan, “Wouldn’t it be better to fight someone your age?” Frye replied, “Why? They don’t have the belt do they?” (H/T BJPENN.com)
While Frye has suggested his interest in a fight with Ngannou, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, the Cameroonian is already occupied it would appear with the division’s #2 ranked contender, past-opponent, Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis.
According to reports recently, the promotion was attempted to pair Ngannou and Lewis together in a heavyweight title re-run at UFC 265 on August 7. — which is tentatively expected to take place at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas, until scheduling conflicts scuppered those blueprints.
With the rematch expected to remain intact nevertheless, the organization are now reportedly targeting a September landing pad for the re-run, with UFC 266 taking place on September 25. — and the most likely destination for the bout. The pay-per-view showcase already houses a light heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Texieira, as well as a featherweight championship pairing of Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.