MMA referee Mike Beltran
For years, the debate has raged. It has raged like an unrelenting storm, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Dan Severn? Or Don Frye?
There's no middle ground. Who has the best facial hair? You're either a Dan Man, or a Frye Guy. And the bright dividing line between the two is like the San Andreas Fault, opening riffs between friends and families and turning many a barbershop debate to an unadulterated bloodbath of blood violence.
We here at Bleacher Report are not immune to the acrimony. But we're journalists first. We are truth seekers. We want to find solutions to society's problems. And that's why we want to end the discord and the heartache once and for all.
So here we are. Let this be the final word. Is it Severn, or is it Frye? And for that matter, who are the five best facial hair stars in all of MMA history? Let this slideshow be your guide.
Ian McCall changes his facial hair frequently, and possibly with the seasons. But the flyweight's handlebar mustache, straight out of a Dodge City apothecary, is his classic look and, if I may, a classic look for the sport.
Is it the face that landed the UFC its Fox TV deal? I don't know. I'm not a media reporter. But is it likely that Uncle Creepy's handlebarred visage, and the promise of beaming same to households around the nation and world, paved the way to broadcasting riches? I say yes.
When the late, great Evan Tanner wasn't being or fighting a UFC champion, he was doing all sorts of other alpha male stuff, like growing this, the very best beard in MMA history. He also enjoyed prospecting for silver in the Black Hills. (Actually, he did enjoy his various manly pursuits. All the more reason the beard works.)
The middle portion of the mustache, where the part occurs, is all business. But along the sides, there is just a hint of mischief. See at the end where it flips up with just a tiny hint of jauntiness? That's where the party's at.
Truly, The Mustache of The Beast has many sides. Many shades. And that's what lends it its air of mystery and of timelessness. It's not unlike the Mona Lisa in that way. No matter where you are in the room, Severn's mustache seems to follow you, daring you to mock it. Go on, punk. Make a Freddie Mercury joke. Do it. Make that mustache's day.
Whereas Mr. Severn's mustache sits with dignity upon the lip and hints at the possibility of rebellion, Mr. Frye's rendition openly defies convention. It seems to challenge the bourgeois, in a way that seems to say "I was told you had a bottle of bourbon in here somewhere."
It's thicker, denser, more laser-focused than Severn's. All steel wool and trapezoids. It wants you to know that the terrorists don't win here. Not in these parts. And neither does your namby-pamby outlook on life, where you hide in the shadows, shifting between fearing the truth itself and your own capacity for expressing it.
Yes, this is the best facial hair in the history of mixed martial arts. Maybe in all of history.
But wait, what's that? In the distance? What's that sound? It's like the thundering of a million pairs of hooves. Why, it's...it's...
Mike Beltran is the one on the left.
It's Mike Beltran. And his navel-length hybrid mustache/beard/mutton chop masterpiece is the king of MMA facial hair, now and forever.
I have a rule in life. When you can braid your facial hair, you win. Although I must say, I enjoy Mr. Beltran's facial hair loose and free-flowing. Look at the way it flutters in the wind here as he runs to call the stoppage. It's like something out of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
And I, for one, cannot deny such beauty. Hail to the chief.
Scott Harris writes about MMA for Bleacher Report. Find him on Twitter for more discussion of facial hair and all the other hard-hitting MMA topics of the day.