Travis Barker vs. Animal

The Muppetastic DRUM WAR

3/22/2012 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Famed drumming badass Travis Barker faced off last night ... against the ONE drummer on the planet who might give him a run for his money -- Animal from the Muppets -- and the entire battle was caught on tape!

Here's how it happened -- Travis made a guest appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" with Animal's band (Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem) and things got heated between the two drummers ... who then decided to settle the score with an on-air drum off.

It was pretty damn close -- so we gotta ask ...