The Flashback Friday episode for June 26th, 2020 was coverage of Pride 16: “Beasts From The East.” This article is the play-by-play for the show. The report for the event can be found here.
Bout 1: Gary Goodridge (14-13) vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu (0-1)
Yatsu charged forward at the start, being shoved away by Goodridge when coming close. Two takedown attempts were blocked by Goodridge, with a knee landing to the body the second time. Goodridge was walking down Yatsu and cornering him in the ring. Goodridge was picking him apart with strikes, but he wasn’t as aggressive as their first fight. Many more takedown attempts were blocked. Goodridge scored with two hard uppercuts after putting Yatsu in the corner. Goodridge caught Yatsu coming in for a takedown, trying for a guillotine choke while transitioning to the ground. As this exchange happened the corner for Yatsu threw in the towel.
Bout 2: Yoshihisa Yamamoto (19-16-1) vs. Assuerio Silva (8-2)
Silva was landing right hands to start. He connected with a punch that dropped Yamamoto. Silva continued with punches on the ground until the referee stopped the fight.
Bout 3: Daijiro Matsui (3-7-2) vs. Murilo Rua (5-0-1)
Matsui shot for a takedown right off the bat. On the ground, Rua was able to get on the back of Matsui before they got to their feet. They went back down with Rua still on his back. He started to try for a rear naked choke from the top. Matsui was able to escaped the position eventually, moving into top position in full guard. He threw some wild punches for a moment in the position. They stood up, with Rua getting a single leg takedown, landing on top in half guard. Matsui was able to flip the position, going back into full guard. The fight went back to the feet in a clinch after Matsui stood up. Rua got another takedown into half guard. Matsui tried for a guillotine choke from the bottom, although he gave it up eventually. Matsui got out of the position yet again, landing a knee to the head before going down into full guard. They were moved to the center of the ring after being too close to the ropes. They got back up in a clinch where Rua got another takedown in half guard after resisting a flip from Matsui. Matsui eventually reversed the position, but Rua was quick to shove him off with his legs and take the position back. For the first time in the fight, Rua was able to move into side control. Rua went to his feet again after Matsui rolled out of the position. Rua went back down in control in half guard. He attempted a keylock before Matsui got out of the position. They went back to the feet, where a clinch ejected Matsui through the ropes and almost off of the matting. They resumed on the feet, going into a clinch again. Rua got a takedown, going on the back of Matsui. He stood up and landed a few soccer kicks to the head of Matsui, who was still down. Rua kept changing levels, going from strikes on the round knees and kicks on the feet. The round ended with Rua in control.
The second round started with Rua getting a takedown from a body lock. Rua got up for a moment, landing with a soccer kick before going back down into half guard. He got on the back of Matsui, landing hammerfist punches to the head. Matsui’s cardio was wearing off fasting than Rua’s. Matsui was able to escape the position and get to the feet, although Rua got another takedown and got into side control. He landed knees to the head.
The round started with Rua pushing forward and landing punches. In a clinch, Rua also scored with some knees to the head. Matsui failed to get a takedown, landing on his stomach on the ground. Rua landed a soccer kick that hurt Matsui. He threw a few more before the fight was called.
Bout 4: Guy Mezger (28-12-2) vs. Ricardo Arona (5-1)
The first few minutes of this fight had slow-paced stand-up. Arona tried for a takedown, although Mezger kept it to a body lock on the feet. Arona landed a knee to the body from the clinch. After Mezger failed to get a takedown from the position, Arona did. They got up with Arona holding onto the back of Mezger. Mezger separated from him after Arona tried for a takedown. Arona was on his back while Mezger was on his feet for a moment, but the referee eventually standing Arona up. They clinched up again after a few moments of uneventful stand-up. Mezger threw Arone down from the clinch, but got to his feet instead of going down with Arona. Just like the last time they were in that position, it was Arone who went to the feet again. They clinched on the feet again but were separated due to inactivity eventually. Arona eventually opened up with punches on the feet, connecting with a few before Mezger clinched to stop his momentum. They stayed in the position until the round ended.
They clinched up to start the second round, with Mezger eventually getting a takedown from it. Arona was quick to stand-up and return to striking. They clinched up again and both threw strikes after. Arone shot for a takedown after being with a few punches. Once they separated Mezger connected with a perfectly timed head kick. Mezger got top position on the ground after this. Arona got ahold of one of Mezger’s legs on the ground and tried for a kneebar. Mezger eventually escaped the position and went into half guard. Mezger stood up and forced the referee to stand up Arona as well. Mezger stopped a takedown attempt. Mezger landed strikes on Arona on the feet, slowly moving to full guard on the ground. The round ended on the ground.
Both fighters seemed quite fatigued to start the final round. Arona got a takedown from a clinch. Arona landed some punches from the top position. They stayed in this position until the fight ended. Going to scorecards a split decision went in favour of Arona.
Bout 5: Akira Shoji (8-5-5) vs. Semmy Schilt (19-10-1)
There was a huge height difference between Shoji and the much taller Schilt. After being hit with a kick to the body, Shoji charged at Schilt, getting a clinch in the ropes. Shoji got a takedown from the clinch. Shoji moved into half guard, but after that Schilt was able to flip the position and take full guard on top. Schilt landed some punches before leaving the position and forcing Shoji to get up as well. Shoji was getting hit with hard punches. A knee dropped Shoji, with Schilt waiting for Shoji to get up after instead of pouncing on him. Moments later, a series of punches and knees dropped Shoji again, ending the fight.
Bout 6: Don Frye (11-1) vs. Gilbert Yvel (24-7)
The fight had a hectic start, as Frye scored a takedown after Yvel charged at him. They got back up in a clinch, separated with Frye seemingly hurt in the corner. Yvel clipped him with a few punches before they clinched again. They were separated from the position and Yvel was given a yellow card. When separating, Frye’s eyes were very red, so much so that the doctors were called over to look at them. The fight eventually continued, resuming on the feet. Yvel ran forward with a knee that Frye caught for a clinch. Frye headbutted Yvel while in the clinch, although it was not called by the referees. Yvel held onto the top rope to resist a takedown, causing another break in action. Due to breaking the rules again, Yvel was given a second yellow card. Yvel was very mad. Frye landed a takedown when they resumed yet again. They were moved away from the ropes when on the ground, although Yvel refused to get back to the ground at first. Frye tried for a neck crank from top position. Yvel tried for counter with an armbar before Frye moved into north-south. Frye scored with a few knees to the head before going into side control. He moved into full mount next, landing some punches to the head and body. Yvel eventually flipped over the position, taking full guard in top position. They stood back up, with Frye getting another takedown moments after. Yvel was able to push Frye off, bringing the fight back to the feet. Frye put Yvel against the ropes in another body lock. Yvel gouged his thumb in the eye of Frye. Being his third foul, the fight ended due to disqualification, giving Frye the win.
Bout 7: Mark Coleman (12-4) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (12-1-1)
They clinched up early with Coleman being put in a corner of the ring. Nogueira landed some good strikes from within the clinch. They left clinch with Coleman looking shaken. Nogueira threw a high kick, slipping and landing on his back in the process. Coleman went down and took full guard on top. Nogueira tried to grab an arm of Coleman, giving up after enough resistance. Coleman stood up, going back down after being hit with an upkick. While going down, Nogueira got one leg over a shoulder of Coleman with the other under an arm. Coleman was able to leave that predicament and take full guard again. They were moved from the ropes to the center of the ring by the officials. While moving around on the mat, Nogueira caught the head of Coleman, trying for a triangle armbar. Coleman reached for the referee, tapping out and ending the fight.