News broke earlier this week that professional wrestler and Pride FC veteran Yoshihiro Takayama is now paralyzed. Per multiple reports, he suffered an injury while wrestling for the DDT promotion. Despite having only four professional MMA fights, fans will always remember his epic battle with Don Frye. The six-plus minute fight at Pride 21 is regarded as one of the most exciting fights in the history of the sport. The following is a look back at the stats of the legendary fight.
Frye and Takayama combined to land 137 significant strikes. Takayama landed 8.76 significant strikes per minute, which is well above his Pride career number of 3.40. On the other hand, Frye landed 13.46 significant strikes per minute. That number is nearly a career high for Frye. His only other performance with a higher output came in 1996 when he stopped Thomas Ramirez with three strikes in eight seconds.
Of their 137 landed significant strikes, nearly 88 percent of those strikes came in the clinch. One of the things that makes this fight so memorable is both fighters’ willing to stand in a clinch position and throw power strikes. Frye landed 76 percent of his significant clinch strikes. Takayama was not far behind, as he landed 70 percent in that position.
Overall, Frye ended up landing 73 percent of his significant strikes compared to only 63 percent for Takayama. The American also had the advantage in terms of head striking accuracy. He landed 79 percent of his head strikes, while Takayama only managed to land 57 percent to the head.
Takayama missed both of his takedown attempts in the fight, and that ultimately turned out to be his downfall. With 4:35 left in the fight, he failed on a takedown. Frye ended up on top in the mount position. From there, he landed six significant strikes and finished the fight.
The stats do not really do this fight justice. Both fighters performed above their normal standard and put on a fight that fans will be talking about for decades to come. If you have not seen it, it is worth at least one month of UFC Fight Pass.