On June 23, 2002 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, mustached legend, Don Frye, took on Japanese pro wrestling icon, Yoshihiro Takayama, in a main event for the ages at Pride 21: Demolition.

For six furious minutes, Frye and Takayama stood toe-to-toe and just punched one another in the face. What the bout lacked in technical brilliance it more than made up for in toughness, grit and good ole fashioned badassness.

There were a lot of reasons to love Pride Fighting Championships; the legendary fighters, the Grand Prix tournaments, the open weight fights and my personal favorite, the freakshow fights. Pride will always hold a special place in my heart and this fight is what made me fall in love with Pride.

Watching the video, how could one not fall in love with Pride after watching this bout?

Frye and Takayama laid it on the line in that ring that night and they took the fight to each other. This fight was so surreal as they literally just stood and exchanged. It was the kind of fight that I thought you could only see in a movie, but Frye and Takayama proved otherwise.

In all reality, neither man was truly the same after this epic showdown. Takayama would only compete in MMA once more and Frye went on a five fight winless streak following the fight. Prior to Takayama, Frye was 14-1, after Takayama Frye was 5-8-1 with a no contest.

Frye vs. Takayama was a life changing fight for both competitors and for fight fans all over the world.



About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.