Taktarov will instead face UFC 1 tournament entrant Patrick Smith, according to Smith's co-managers Francois Nguyen and Tommy Rojas. A contract is expected to be signed and returned this week.
Smith, 2-1 in 2007, trains out of Arlington MMA in Arlington, Texas. According to Rojas, the 45-year-old athlete was invited to participate in a June Yamma event, but Frye's cancellation created an opportunity to compete sooner.
Smith is 2 years older than Frye, so the bout now has a combined age of 85. The worse thing for Yamma though is that Frye was by far a more memorable name for the casual crowd than Smith or Taktarov so this is a big blow to the event.
But for all you fans of the early days of the sport you finally will get to see the unsettled 1995 match between The Russian Bear and Pat Smith. The two were originally slated to face each other in the second round of UFC 6 but Smith pulled out with stomach pains. Taktarov went on to win the tournament with a grueling final round victory over David "Tank" Abbott in one of the true classic bouts from the early UFC.
I'm not crazy about the idea Yamma is pushing with the "Masters Superfights" for the old guys. Beyond just worries about the toll fighting takes on the body of guys in their 40's...it wasn't too long ago that I sat at an IFL show in Chicago when Mo Smith and Marco Ruas nearly got booed out of the arena for putting on a hell of a boring display. No worries though, rather than the getting booed out of the place...a good eighty percent of the crowd just decided to get up and leave before the fight was finished.
I have to admit that I do like the name of the promotion though. It lets me crack lame ass jokes like "Yamma not gonna watch this shit."