The event called Pride 21 took place on June 23rd, 2002 in the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. On that fateful Japanese summer night we would not only see the Pride debut of Fedor Emelianenko against Semmy Schilt, but the Pride debut of Anderson Silva as well. Those impressive debuts alone would be enough to discuss the card, but throw in Jeremy Horn defeating Gilbert Yvel and Renzo Gracie and Gary Goodridge fights wrapped up in a card headlined by Bob Sapp and you have a must-see event for students of MMA’s past. Then, you place the 100% American mustache known as Don Frye in as the show opener against Yoshihiro Takayama in a fight that Dave Meltzer named The Wrestling Observer 2002 fight of the year and you have history. Impossible to forget, beautiful and rawsome history.
Over ten years later Don Frye Vs. Takayama is one of the most memorable battles this sport has ever seen. I don’t think a night goes by playing an MMA videogame and someone doesn’t mention Frye/Takayama. This is the fight every fan wants to see at least once on a card, and we’ve only seen flashes of the fight’s brilliance in other bouts over the last decade. However, there will only be one Frye Vs. Takayama.
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The full fight:
Shortened fight with music that kind of adds to it if you’re busy this Sunday.