Alistair Overeem

Overeem-Goodridge Possible for October


Alistair Overeem. Photo by Jon Swenson.

Win or lose in his much-anticipated bout against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at DREAM.6 later this month, Alistair Overeem will likely return to his native country of the Netherlands to fight fellow kickboxing and MMA veteran Gary Goodridge this fall according to Sherdog.com.

The latest edition of Sherdog’s “European Throwdown” suggests that Glory, a Dutch promotion, is attempting to pair the two up for it’s upcoming show on November 11. The event will feature a mix of MMA, Muay Thai, and boxing matches and according to Overeem, will probably feature him as well.

“The fight is 90 percent sure,” Overeem said in the report. “I plan on staying very busy this fall and winter with the upcoming fight against ‘Cro Cop,’ then the bout against ‘Big Daddy’ and a possible battle on New Year’s Eve to top off the year.”

The article also goes on to state that Overeem could easily opt to fight at DREAM’s planned November event instead. Goodridge is currently riding a three-fight losing streak, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Paul Buentello at Affliction’s debut show in July.

Three Bouts Added to DREAM.6 Card


Mirko Filipovic. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Fight Entertainment Group has announced three more bouts for DREAM.6, which will take place on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

The most high profile fight made official today was a previously rumored bout between former PRIDE standout Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

Overeem has long believed that Filipovic had been ducking a potential showdown with him for years. However will now get his wish against a fellow dangerous kickboxer.

Filipovic left the Ultimate Fighting Championship following a disappointing 1-2 stint in the organization, where he was defeated by Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo in consecutive fights. He bounced back to earn a first-round TKO of Tatsuya Mizuno at DREAM.1 in March.

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Reports: Cro Cop vs. Overeem at DREAM.6


Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Multiple Croatian television and print reports are stating that former PRIDE standout Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will indeed clash at DREAM.6, which will take place on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

The reports cite DREAM officials as confirming the bout. The two were previously rumored to be fighting at the event for weeks now but contradicting reports stated that neither fighter would be matched up against each other at the show.

Overeem has long believed that Filipovic was ducking a potential showdown with him. He will now apparently get his wish against a fellow dangerous kickboxer.

Filipovic left the Ultimate Fighting Championship following a disappointing 1-2 stint in the organization, where he was defeated by Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo in consecutive fights. He bounced back to earn a first-round TKO of Tatsuya Mizuno at DREAM.1 in March.

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Fight of the Day: Buentello vs. Overeem

From Strikeforce’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” event in October of last year, here’s Paul Buentello vs. Alistair Overeem for the vacant Strikeforce heavyweight title. The first round of the fight is shown in the above video. Round two is after the jump.

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Hansen Claims DREAM’s Lightweight GP


Joachim Hansen. Photo courtesy of DREAM.

Joachim Hansen was the surprise winner of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix this morning, avenging a past loss to Shinya Aoki by knocking out the skilled grappler in the tournament finals despite starting the night as a reserve.

In a dramatic turn of events, Hansen was pushed into the lightweight title main event after Eddie Alvarez was unable to compete due to injury. During the first few minutes of his battle against Aoki, it looked as if Hansen was about to fall victim to another submission loss once again, just as he did against Aoki at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 a few years back.

However the tide turned once Hansen landed a strong left hand while falling back to Aoki’s guard. The punch hurt Aoki, allowing Hansen to bomb away with unanswered right hands until Aoki stopped responding and referee Yuji Shimada was forced to stop the bout. An elated Hansen jumped into the arms of his corner. After composing himself, Hansen was quick to push for a rematch of his war against Alvarez earlier this year as his first official title defense.

“This still has to sink in a little,” Hansen said after the fight. “I am the sort of person who takes one thing at a time, so I concentrated on Kultar Gill (whom Hansen defeated via TKO earlier in the night) and felt a little strange going into the final match, so I took my time and looked for the right chance to strike. I had a great night, thanks to my team and everybody who helped me, and next time I hope to defend my title against Eddie Alvarez.”

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DREAM.5 Live Results

We will be going live at 2:00 AM ET with live results of tomorrow morning’s DREAM.5 event, which will take place at the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet tomorrow morning at 2 AM ET. It will air again via tape delay at 10 PM ET as well.

The show features the final round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix - Eddie Alvarez, Caol Uno, Shinya Aoki, and Tatsuya Kawajiri will battle it out in a four-man tournament with the winners facing off for the GP title in the night’s main event. Additional featured bouts include a slugfest between Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem as well as a lightweight tourney reserve bout between Joachim Hansen and “Black Mamba” Kultar Gill.

Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning. Detailed live results are after the jump.

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Two Bouts Finalize Monday’s DREAM.5 Card


Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. Photo courtesy of FEG.

Two additional bouts have been added to Monday’s DREAM.5 event in Japan, finalizing a card which will feature the finals of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet tomorrow morning at 2 AM ET. It will air again via tape delay at 10 PM ET as well.

Urijah-Faber trained Joe Benavidez, who was originally slated to take on pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, will go up against Shooto veteran Junya “Kodo” Kudo. Bendavidez is undefeated in seven professional fights, last submitting Maurice Eazel at a Palace Fighting Championship event in May. Kudo suffered his first career loss in June, dropping an unanimous decision to So Tazawa.

Yamamoto was forced to withdraw from the show after suffering a knee injury during a recent training session. A failed flying knee attempt caused an awkward landing and the sound of a pop inside of Kid’s right leg. An MRI shows that Yamamoto suffered a partial tear of his right anterior cruciate ligament, however it won’t be determined whether surgery is necessary or not until sometime next week.

“It’s unfortunate that Kid got injured and I want to thank my opponent for taking the fight on short notice,” Benavidez at the pre-fight press conference yesterday in Japan. “I am focused on the opponent I have now, and I just want to go in and get the win.”

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Report: Overeem Tapped to Face Hunt


Alistair Overeem. Photo by Jon Swenson.

Dutch striker Alistair Overeem will reportedly replace an injured Jerome LeBanner against former PRIDE heavyweight contender Mark Hunt in a late addition to Monday’s DREAM.5 event in Japan, which will feature the finals of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix.

The news comes from The Fight Network, which has confirmed the bout with Overeem himself. DREAM officials are expected to officially announce the bout over the next day or so. LeBanner was forced to withdraw from the fight after suffering injuries during a recent K-1 kickboxing bout against Semmy Schilt.

Overeem last knocked out one-time PRIDE veteran Tae Hyun Lee in the first round at DREAM.4 in June. Prior to that, he forced Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Paul Buentello to tap out due to injuries received from knees to the body at Strikeforce’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” event in November of last year. The win earned Overeem the vacant Strkeforce heavyweight belt.

Meanwhile after nearly five years as a professional kickboxer, Hunt bursted onto the MMA scene in 2004 and quickly shocked the world with consecutive upsets over Wanderlei Silva and Filipovic. Since then the New Zealand native has split his last four fights and has been concentrating on his part-time pro wrestling career during his time off since the demise of the PRIDE Fighting Championships.

Aoki, Manhoef Advance to Grand Prix Finals


Shinya Aoki submitted former Olympic wrestler Katsuhiko Nagata with a modified gogoplata Saturday night at DREAM.4 in Japan. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.

Those who predicted an easy victory for Melvin Manhoef over Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba in the main event of DREAM’s latest effort Saturday night in Japan saw their thoughts become reality as Manhoef quickly smashed Sakuraba en route to an early first-round stoppage to move on to the finals of the organization’s inaugural middleweight grand prix.

The 14,037 in attendance at the Yokohama Arena saw Manhoef knock down Sakuraba with a right hand after stunning him with a head kick in the bout’s opening moments. Manhoef pounced on Sakuraba, who despite being able to pull guard, was unable to stop much of the punishment Manhoef was dishing out. Manhoef eventually transitioned to side control where he landed a number of unanswered hammer fists that forced the referee to jump in and save the longtime veteran.

“Sakuraba has been my hero, and he still is my hero. I’m sorry I had to beat him up for you,” Manhoef told the crowd after the fight. “I was prepared for 15 minutes, so it was my plan to start relaxed. But he wanted the takedown, and when he moved his head I caught him with a punch and then I kicked him. I knew when he went down, and we had practiced that, if he was in the ropes of the referee would stop and he could rest, that’s not what I wanted so I pulled him out from the ropes then punched again.”

In the night’s opening bout, grappling wizard Shinya Aoki submitting former Olympic wrestler Katsuhiko Nagata with a modified gogoplata from the mount position, a technique likely never seen before in a professional bout.

Aoki was able to sweep Nagata to the canvas early on in the bout but Nagata’s wrestling skills quickly allowed him to stand back up. Aoki then switched to a body lock and used surprising strength to muscle Nagata to the ground, where he quickly moved to mount after a scramble. After landing a couple of punches, Aoki attempted a failed guillotine before pulling off the gogoplata seemingly out of nowhere.

With the win, Aoki moves on to the finals of the promotion’s first-ever lightweight tournament where he will face former UFC contender Caol Uno. Philadelphia Fight Factory product Eddie Alvarez will take on tough wrestler Tatsuya Kawajiri in the other semi-final bout on July 21st in Japan.

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DREAM.4 Preview


Jason “Mayhem” Miller submits an alligator while posing for pictures during a pre-fight press conference for DREAM.4. Photo courtesy of FEG.

Japan’s DREAM.4 takes place this Sunday, June 15 and is headlined by the second round of the Middleweight Grand Prix. The event will be broadcast live tomorrow on HDNet at 4am ET.

Middleweight Grand Prix

There are four fights in round two with the winners moving on to DREAM.6 where a champion will be crowned.

Kazushi Sakuraba vs Melvin Manhoef

Another Sakuraba fight, another opponent who could kill him in the ring. At 39, can Sakuraba stand in there and take another savage beating? Manhoef is one of the most intense strikers at 185 and you can guarantee he’ll get his shots in on Saku. But we know Melvin has his limitations on the ground, Sakuaraba’s bread and butter. I think there’s one think we can count on in this fight; it won’t be a decision. Before 15 minutes is up, either Sakuraba will get KO’ed or he’ll submit Manhoef.

Prediction: Melvin Manhoef

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