Don Frye stops Yoshihiro Takayama at Pride 21 ‘Demolition’ (Retro)
June 23rd, 2002
Pride 21: ‘Demolition’ at the Saitama Super Arena tonight was headlined by a heavyweight encounter between American hard-hitter Don Frye and Japanese professional wrestler Yoshihiro Takayama.
The staredown that both men engaged in before the bell rang showed a glimpse of what was about to follow. After referee Yuji Shimada gave his final instructions, Frye and Takayama came out of their respective corners and immediately started to throw harrowing blows.
Each man was holding the back of the other’s head with one hand while delivering right hand after right hand. The crowd at the Saitama Super Arena erupted as the pair unloaded rapid-fire haymakers in the early exchanges.
Barrage of blows
While the barrage of blows brought the audience to its feet Takayama was clearly getting the worst of it. The pro wrestling veteran was going in search of his first MMA win but his face was a bloody mess as Frye threw punch after punch.
As Takayama shifted gears and drove knees to his opponent’s midsection Frye shot for a takedown and moved into mount. The two time UFC tournament winner was in his element and rained down ground and pound.
Frye fired away and eventually finished Takayama at the 6:10 mark of the first round. The victory moves the American’s professional record to 15-1 while his opponent drops to 0-4.
Best of the rest
In the co-main event promotional newcomer Fedor Emelianenko (11-1) faced former Pancrase openweight champion Semmy Schilt (22-11). The Russian heavyweight made his name with Japanese promotion Rings and he certainly enhanced his reputation here with a clear cut decision win against the much taller Dutch kickboxer.
The card featured two fighters from MMA’s most famous family and they went the distance too. Daniel Gracie (1-0) scored a unanimous decision win over Takashi Sugiura (0-1).
But in the other contest pitting Japan against Brazil it was the host nation which emerged victorious. Shungo Oyama (2-3) scored a unanimous decision win over Renzo Gracie (10-4).