Posted June 11, 2014 by Sydnie Jones in Editorials

Don Frye Jokes About Beating Women, Thinks Karyn Bryant Would Have Sex With a Unicorn


A man’s man(?).  Illustration by Nick Yidiaris.

Don Frye, birther, man, father of daughters, is known for the deliberately shocking things he says. He’s contrived an image of ‘manliness,’or his version of it, anywayand conveys this by being equal parts self-deprecating and asshole*.

In a 28-minute interview with Submission Radio from June 2, Don Frye says a lot about a lot of things. First, he updates the hosts on the status of his show The Predator’s Predictions (1:45). He explains that there wasn’t anything exciting happening in MMA, so the show’s on hiatus, and that they  need “good men” fighting, “not a bunch of girls,” to be worth the time. Whether he’s referring to actual women’s MMA bouts, or just equating boring male fighters to girls, is irrelevant. Either way, the implication is clear: being a woman is not a good thing.

Don Frye also discusses TRT and drug use and testing in MMA, a heated issue that made headlines today when Chael Sonnen failed a random drug test that was administered in May. He says,

“No, I don’t think it’s a problem, it’s a fight god damn it. If you’re gonna fight, fight. Who cares what the guy’s taking, you know. It doesn’t matter. Get in there and fight…Look, if you’re gonna demand testing, you’re not a fighter. That’s all there is to it. You know, if you’re gonna demand testing, you’re gonna demand the goddamn government to take care of your opponent for you, you know that’s bullshit. You’re not a fighter. Stay on the couch with the women. Put on an apron and make some cookies, god damn it. If you’re a fighter, you don’t care.”

Again, Don Fryethinks that if you’re lame, by his definition, you’re basically a woman, also by his definition. And god forbid you’re a woman, or worse yet, Don Frye™ calls you one. Such humiliation. Of course, Don Fryecomparing fighters who argue in favor of a level playing field to women is either a rich, hilarious detachment from reality, or the subtlest form of feminist support for testing in MMA ever.

In this interview posted to YouTube on March 9, 2012, Don Frye™, hawking supplements at the Arnold Classic in Ohio,  talks with MMA: Inside the Cage’s Cyrus Fees, and has plenty of stupid things to say. When asked about the upcoming Rousey vs Tate fight, he says,

“I always like to watch a loud-mouthed woman get smacked around.”

Don Frye™ winks and chuckles at his own wit while Fees smiles blithely. It’s clearly a joke. It’s clearly part of his shtick, intent on shocking people with what an asshole he can be and/or just telling it like it is in real man fashion. The simple truth is that sexism is a form of oppression far more acceptably displayed in public than most others, and Don Frye™ exploits this indiscriminately. A racist or homophobic joke, especially about violence toward members of those groups, would never fly. Or, I don’t know, maybe Don Frye’s star has faded enough that it would just sink into relative obscurity and irrelevance along with him, were he to make such a joke.

When asked about women’s MMA in general, Don Frye™ makes it clear how funny he thinks joking about domestic violence is. Here, he praises its usefulness in covering up punching one’s wife.

“I think it’s great, you know, because um…your wife comes home, gives you shit. You know,” (punches own hand) “Boom! She calls the police, you say, ‘No, she’s a fighter, she came home with that black eye!'”

He laughs, Cyrus Fees’ mouth agape in a horrified smile. Sexist jokes about domestic violence, how original (queue “feminists have no sense of humor” comments). No wonder opponents of MMA draw parallels to domestic violence. Again,  Don Frye™ clearly intends to be joking. But unchecked jokes like this don’t exactly represent an environment where domestic violence is unilaterally condemned. It doesn’t help when professional-level promotions have convicted rapists on their cards and the promoters are assholes about it, or the UFC continuing to allow Abel Trujillo to fight, despite past convictions for domestic assault. I guess he was grandfathered in?

But that was over two years ago! Maybe Don is a changed man!

Nah. In this interview from November 2013, Don Frye™ talks again about the current state of MMA:

“I think they’re a bunch of sissies…they should be wearing purses, and half of’em paint their damn toenails, what the hell is that all about? They should be putting on make up and lipstick and prancing around, you know, in high heels, they probably do it half the time anyway when they’re training.”

You know, those are woman things, and it’s embarrassing to do woman things (real men wouldn’t), and also those guys are probably all cross-dressers anyway. Because that’s something that’s cool to make fun of. And let’s be honest, can you imagine training in heels? That would take hella skill.

Karyn Bryant says, “Oh, okay, so, I don’t even know where to go with that…”

Well, here’s an idea, Karyn. “It seems like you’re equating being a ‘sissy’ with being a woman. Can you elaborate on that?”

Later, when asked about a potential Rampage versus Tito Ortiz fight, Don Frye™ likens it to a fight between a mermaid and a unicorn.

Bryant says, “I would take the unicorn, personally.”

With a knowing side eye, Don Frye™ says, “I bet you would.”

Bryant, still attempting diplomacy and patience, claims to have missed him and is glad his humor remains intact despite the four months of sobriety he mentioned earlier.

Still coming up with super clever mythical bestiality jokes, Don Frye™ quips,  “You’re supposed to ride on top of the unicorn.”

“Anyway, keeping this PG…” Bryant stammers, unwilling to explicitly say she is not down to talk about her having sex with a fantasy horse. Is this part of the act? Don Frye doesn’t care if it makes women uncomfortable when he uses them as punchlines for sexually themed, raunchy jokes? Even if said punchline is interviewing him? Class act. Congratulations on saying some shocking things! That was pretty brave!

Way to represent the sport, Don.

*note: this is not my personal understanding of manliness. It’s just Don Frye.

Sydnie Jones