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The #1 Best Damn Beatdown in MMA history

Early on, Frye and Takayama took the measure of each other, and then punching each other in the face, Hockey style, to see who was the better man.
Yoshihiro Takayama

If a picture tells 1,000 words, this animated gif tells about 1,000,000. At least.

One of the greatest fights in mixed martial arts history took place on June 23, 2002, at Pride 21. Don Frye was returning to Japan four months after a brutal win over Ken Shamrock. This time his opponent was the Japanese professional wrestler Yoshihiro Takayama.

Takayama is 6' 5" and 290 lbs, and towered over the 6' 1" 205 lbs Frye. Takayama is one of only two men to hold all three of tough Japanese pro wrestling's major heavyweight titles (IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, and GHC Heavyweight Championship). What he lacked in mixed martial arts technique, he made up for in toughness.

Being hit with a four ounce glove is not like getting his with a 12 or 16 oz boxing glove. It is not like getting hit with a bare fist, which will break. It is worse. For this reason, mixed martial arts fighters have highly developed techniques to avoid being hit in the face.

This fight was a different animal. Frye and Takayama took the measure of each other, and then punching each other in the face, Hockey style, to see who was the better man.

When FOX Sport Network put together their “Best Damn 50 Beatdowns” this was #1, and you can see why.

Frye was a hybrid wrestling/boxing/Judo fighter, and discussed how the arts blend together.

“I’m the most undisciplined athlete you’ll meet in your life," he explained. "If I could drink all night and sleep all day I would. S---, if I could have a chamber pot brought to me in my bed, I’d piss in that. Judo’s a very regimented and disciplined sport. It teaches you the respect you need to learn. When you spend half your life doing wrestling like I did. judo can really help. To oversimplify it, wrestling is pushing, while judo is pulling. I’m sure that will piss a bunch of people off and they will say ‘No, that’s not it. He’s an idiot.’ But that’s the way I see it. Adding judo, you’re working both aspects of the game.”

You can keep up with Frye via his hilarious Predator Predicitions...