In 2000, he joined Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah), and later became a mainstay in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) where he … 23:15. He competed on the Arizona State University wrestling team, where he was coached by Dan Severn, and participated in Olympic trials.
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Sure, he eats a couple of punches for each knee he lands but Frye seems to be slowing down through the exhaustion of seemingly finding himself in a brawl with a brick wall of a human being. Before we proceed, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Ant Evans took a brilliant deep dive into this bout earlier this week, so make sure you check that out especially if you want a greater understanding of the context around the matchup.
There’s a trope in Japanese pro wrestling called “fighting spirit,” when the power of fighting itself gives a wrestler the strength to keep fighting and fight even harder.
But we’d never seen anything like this opening exchange and haven’t since. Speaking of the good doctor, Takayama shows his sinister side with a knee to the head of a grounded Frye that would have ended most fights; instead, it leads to the next wave of ridiculous punching. Though Pride was a legitimate fighting promotion, it booked pro wrestlers semi-frequently, including top UWFi star Nobuhiko Takada against jiu-jitsu master Rickson Gracie in the main event of their first show.
You made the greatest fight the world has ever seen.
Thank you, negligent ringside physician, for allowing this bout to continue because what happens next is perfection: THEY DO IT AGAIN. A GOAT Walk Throwback: WWE’s Paige Throws Up at Ronda Rousey’s Ranch, WATCH NOW: The Complete Adventures of Mini Ronda (Season 1). Daniel is a freelancer journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. What an effort from both men and it’s almost a relief when Frye ends up on top of Takayama in full mount (the commentators say Takayama made a mistake technique-wise, as if his brain could possibly have been considering technique at this point) because you know the end is near. RondaRousey.com’s Real Shooters feature explores the good, the bad, and the weird of pro wrestling-MMA crossover moments in history. He had one professional boxing match in 1989, started training in judo, and in the mid-’90s, got involved in the growing sport of MMA. Two minutes in, I think we’ve seen a combined 80 significant strikes to the head landed. The men shook hands and bowed to each other after the decision was declared and Takayama raised Frye’s hand. JM: Well, we did like three minutes later when they do it again. We’re just going to focus on the face-punching. He lived to tell the tale. There’s no possible way to fault Takayama for anything in this fight. “The Predator” was 14-1 heading into this matchup, but legend has it his mustache had a Rickson Gracie-like record of 300-0. Bantamweight Said Nurmagomedov spoke with reporters backstage on Yas Island following his first-round knockout win over Mark Striegl at UFC Fight Island 6.
AL: PRIDE doctors were really more doctors in theory than anything.
Sadly, Takayama suffered a major injury to his spine at a pro-wrestling show in May 2017 and has been dealing with health issues since. They are hanging on every strike and can sense that another barrage is coming. 14:47. Welcome to the latest edition of Missed Fists where we shine a light on fights from across the globe that may have been overlooked in these hectic times where it seems like there’s an MMA show every other day. Their contest won 'Fight of the Year' from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 2002 and it's gone down as one of MMA's most brutal battles. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. The worst part about combat sports movies is the poorly choreographed, poorly thought-out fight scenes, and this would have been the worst example of it if I saw it on the big screen. But if you must go, sir, godspeed.”. You are the image of Bushido, and strength, and triumph. But a pace like that is physically unsustainable, so we get a few lulls where the two just hold each other like they’re both building up energy for the next salvo, and that to me is the truly incredible part of the fight. He’s the toughest man MMA had seen up to that point, and still may well be so. Their clash—which you can watch in its entirety on UFC Fight Pass—was an exciting and unforgettable display of toughness and one of the greatest meetings of the MMA and wrestling worlds. After his team checked on him in the corner, his face was even worse off than it had been a few minutes earlier, but, to the audience’s delight, he still reentered the bout with no visible trepidation. After more bear-hugging with the occasional strikes and knees, the referee separated Frye and Takayama. While rugby and kendo were Takayama’s sports of choice as a teenager, Don Frye started amateur wrestling in high school. JM: Yeah the referee could’ve stopped this as soon as Takayama was mounted.
The contest resembled a hockey fight rather than an MMA bout and the duo swung for the fences on the way to Frye picking up a first round win. Without further ado, welcome to the premiere edition of Missed Fists Theater. Denim's Big Backup. Though the Pride 21 main event wasn’t pre-determined like a wrestling match, Takayama displayed the fighting spirit of a main event wrestling hero. He made his MMA debut at Pride 14 against fellow wrestler Kazuyuki Fujita and lost. 1 contender after Brian Ortega dominated "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung in the UFC Fight Island 6 main event. Then again, the end is accompanied by the sound of Frye’s downward strikes sounding like he’s smashing Takayama’s head with a cricket paddle, so it really wasn’t much of a relief at least not until the referee finally stepped in. However, he couldn’t spin the UFC legend around all the way, and this ended with Frye on top of Takayama. After the action slowed for a moment, though the fighters held on to each other, the same type of punching started again, and the crowd freaked out. About five minutes in the referee finally calls for a doctor to examine Takayama’s eye which has essentially swollen shut. I won’t lie, I thought this was going to be the unsatisfactory (yet completely reasonable) end to an all-timer of a fight. JM: I mean, they are absolutely rifling right hooks into one another to the point that even Bas Rutten is like (and I’m paraphrasing), “Dude, I have no idea what is happening.”.
AL: No wins, and yet he’s recognizable to almost any fan of combat sports. UFC Hall of Famer Frye faced off against pro wrestler Takayama in now-defunct Japanese promotion PRIDE back in 2002 and they brutalised one another.
In his second fight at Pride 18, he was knocked out by Dutch kickboxer Semmy Schilt. You are the reason that our fight beat the World Cup of soccer head to head on TV. Takayama started wrestling in the shoot-style promotion UWFi, but he didn’t have a shoot fighting background.
He made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling in August 1997 by defeating Kazuyuki Fujita, the same wrestler who beat Takayama in his MMA debut.
After he returned to wrestling full time with an even more credibly badass persona than before, he became one of only two men (along with Kensuke Sasaki) to win all three of Japanese wrestling’s major heavyweight championships—New Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship, NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Championship, and All Japan’s Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. AL: So true. Don Frye and Yoshihiro Nakao rematched at K-1 Premium 2004 Dynamite on December 31, 2004 with Nakao coming out on top and winning a unanimous decision, resigning the American to his sixth unsuccessful fight.
JUST VIDEO. Aug 6 2019 Kimberly Schueler RondaRousey.com’s Real Shooters feature explores the good, the bad, and the weird of pro wrestling-MMA crossover moments in history. If only Takayama had ever fought Fedor he might’ve beaten the GOAT purely by breaking the man’s brittle hands with his head. Takayama soon left the MMA world and became even more successful as a pro wrestler. Sure enough, minute four kicks off with more unprotected haymakers and the crowd erupts in applause. Yoshihiro Takayama and Don Frye they were the protagonists of one of the most emblematic fights in the history of mixed martial arts. While holding Frye in the corner, he tried to spin him around to take him down to the mat. He went into the main event of Pride 21 with an 0-2 record, while his opponent boasted one of 14-1. Penn or even current “BMF” champ Jorge Masvidal, what matters most is not necessarily the outcome but how we get there. The good news is that has left us with plenty of leftover brain power to look over some all-time great fights (something we recently did with Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre, so check that out) that demand review, with an emphasis on international and regional affairs. Outside of prime Wanderlei, I’m not sure there’s a better staredown than these two bull elephants looking right through one another. The fight begins with both men holding one another in striking range as they brawl into the corner. JM: Well, let’s be clear, this fight happened before my time.
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