Courtesy of Super Fight League, here's UFC veteran Todd Duffee fighting for the first time in over a year and picking up a 34-second KO of Neil Grove at SFL's latest event on Saturday at the T-Box Mobile Arena in Chandigarh, India.
The card also saw Bellator middleweight star Alexander Shlemenko halt Ikuhisa Minowa with strikes in the first round and Ryan Healy win a unanimous nod over Paul Kelly.
Shinya Aoki. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group today announced that grappling wizard Shinya Aoki and former PRIDE lightweight title challenger Hayato “Mach” Sakurai would both compete in DREAM’s inaugural welterweight grand prix, which is set to begin on April 5 in Japan.
Aoki was the favorite to win DREAM’s lightweight tourney last year, but ended up falling to Joachim Hansen in the grand prix finals. However “Tobikan Judan” bounced back to record consecutive wins in his last two bouts, submitting Todd Moore at DREAM.6 and most recently, fellow top-ranked lightweight Eddie Alvarez at K-1 Dynamite!! 2008.
Ikuhisa Minowa. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group, the parent company of DREAM, has announced that longtime Japanese MMA veteran Ikuhisa Minowa will take on K-1 kickboxing champion Errol Zimmerman in the opening bout at FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008, which takes place on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
With the announcement of the matchup, the 19-fight card has been finalized.
Minowa, a veteran of MMA since the glory days of Pancrase in the mid-90’s, will be fighting for the fifth time in 2008 when he takes on Zimmerman. Minowa has gone 2-2 so far this year, most recently falling to fellow Pancrase veteran Masakatsu Funaki via submission at DREAM.6 on September 23.
Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
We will be going live at 3:00 AM ET with live results of this morning’s DREAM.6 event, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet. A replay of the show will air at 4:00 PM ET later today.
DREAM.6 will feature the final round of the promotion’s inaugural grand prix. Melvin Manhoef will take on Gegard Mousasi and Zelg Galesic will face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza with the two winners meeting in the show’s finale. Mirko Filipovic and Alistair Overeem will meet in an anticipated grudge match that will serve as the co-main event.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Hayato Sakurai. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group on Thursday announced an additional three fights that will take place at DREAM.6 on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Former PRIDE standout Hayato “Mach” Sakurai will be taking on fellow UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka. Sakurai was originally rumored to be facing Nick Diaz for DREAM’s newly-created welterweight title, but Diaz’s camp has stated that DREAM officials have yet to compensate Diaz for his May 11 win over Katsuya Inoue.
Ikuhisa Minowa will return to the middleweight division to take on Japanese legend Masakatsu Funaki. Minowa open-weight fighting spree continued at DEEP’s “Gladiator” event on August 16 as he surprisingly submitted Don Frye with a first-round kneebar.
Funaki last fell to Kiyoshi Tamura at DREAM.2 in April. It was only his second fight since coming back to professional competition after a seven-year hiatus. Keita Nakamura will fight for the first time since being released by the UFC earlier this year when he takes on Brazilian product Adriano Martins at the event as well.
Ikuhisa Minowa. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Ikuhisa Minowa was victorious again in his quest to become Japan’s most successful open-weight fighter, submitting fellow longtime veteran and cult hero Don Frye with a first-round kneebar in the main event of DEEP’s “Gladiator” show this morning at the Momotaro Arena in Okayama, Japan.
After stuffing Minowa’s first takedown attempt, Frye quickly found himself on his back at the start of the bout. Minowa immediately dropped back for a heel hook and locked in the hold, but was unable to force Frye to tap. Minowa eventually switched to a kneebar, which after a few moments, finally forced Frye to give up.
In a team battle between fighters from Korea and Japan, it was Korea that came away with a 4-1 victory. Notable bouts saw UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa drop a unanimous decsion to Chul Hyun Jung while Jutaro Nakao picked up the lone win for the Japanese, defeating Yong Fun Lee via second-round TKO.
Gary Goodridge lost a hard-fought decision to Hiromi Amada in the first of four K-1 rules bouts. Jan Nortje scored a stoppage of PRIDE veteran Tom Erikson in another.
Don Frye exchanges punches with Yoshihiro Nakao. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Longtime fan-favorite Don Frye will return to action when he takes on colorful Japanese veteran Ikuhisa Minowa, who will continue his open-weight fighting quest at a scheduled DEEP event entitled “Gladiator” on August 16th in Japan.
The organization announced the event earlier today.
Frye quickly picked up his first win of this year back in January, scoring a first-round knockout of Bryan Pardoe in the main event of a NoLimit Fighting show in Dallas. Despite noticeably falling off talent-wise as he approaches the twilight of his career, Frye has only lost once in his last six fights.
Meanwhile Minowa has strugged as of late, losing three out of his last four bouts. His only win was a submission of former professional baseball player Bum Chan Kang at DREAM’s inaugural event in March. He most recently lost an unanimous decision to Taiei Kin at DREAM.2 in April.
Additional bouts announced for the card include Daijiro Matsui vs. Eun Soo Lee and a K-1 rules bout between Gary Goodridge vs. Hiromi Amada.
Shinya Aoki catches Gesias Calvancante in an armbar. Photo courtesy of FEG.
A little more than a month after fans were left with a disappointing ending to a March matchup between Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki, it was Aoki that finally came away the victor in one of the most-anticipated lightweights contests in recent memory earlier this morning in DREAM’s second-ever show.
The first fight between the two was ruled a no-contest after Calvancante struck Aoki with illegal elbows to the back of Aoki’s neck. Calvancante was warned and Aoki given time to recover, but after a few moments the esteemed grappler wasn’t able to continue. The two were also originally set to face off at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but Calvancante was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a knee injury during training.
Aoki quickly pulled guard at the start of the fight and negated any sort of offense his opponent tried to mount. However after stomping his way out of a heel hook attempt, Calvancante pounced on top of Aoki and began raining down an array of strikes, prompting the referee to give an even closer look at the action. Aoki was able to recover and eventually get back to his feet where he ended up taking Calvancante’s back and controlling him for the remainder of the round.
The second round saw Aoki pull Calvancante to the canvas once again and then quickly catch him in an armbar that nearly ended the fight. Calvancante was able to flip out of the hold and even scored with some ground and pound before Aoki went for another couple of armbars. Aoki transitioned into an inverted omoplata during the final minute of the fight, solidifying his win on the judge’s scorecards.
Aoki’s next opponent in just two weeks will now be former Japanese Olympic wrestler Katsuhiko Nagata according to DREAM officials.
Frank Trigg grapples with Renato Verissimo. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 3:30 PM ET: Frank Trigg revealed through his TAGG Radio show today and The Underground Forum that he has not signed with DREAM and not will be fighting Ronaldo Souza, who happens to be a training partner of his at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
DREAM parent company Fight Entertainment Group has announced four more bouts for the first round of the organization’s upcoming middleweight grand prix, which will currently take place on April 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Former UFC welterweight title contender Frank Trigg will take on renowned grappler Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a first round bout. Addtional matchups include Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov, Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin, and Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama.
Also, current EliteXC lightweight Nick Diaz has apparently verbally accepted a bout against Marcelo Garcia according to manager Cesar Gracie.
Nick Diaz has verbally accepted to fight Marcelo Garcia at the next Dream show. (April 29th) Although Garcia inititially accepted the fight, there has been talk that the match will now be scrubbed. According to Dream promoters, Marcelo has now decided that he does not want the fight and it is unclear if Dream will be able to find an opponent in time for Nick to participate. Stay tuned.
The card for the event now looks like this:
DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix
Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Andrews Nakahara
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Frank Trigg vs. Ronaldo Souza
Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin
Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix
Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante
Mirko Cro Cop is introduced before his bout against Josh Barnett at PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
SAITAMA - Returning to one of his favorite venues, Mirko Cro Cop made it look easy tonight. The cool but lethal Croatian mixed martial arts superstar required a mere 56 seconds to dispatch Tatsuya Mizuno by KO at the DREAM.1 Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 1st Round.
Held before a sellout crowd at the Saitama Super Arena—with millions of Japanese television viewers watching live—DREAM.1 featured seven qualification bouts in the DREAM Lightweight (70 kg/154 lbs) class, along with a trio of open-weight fights. This was the inaugural DREAM production—but such is the talent on tap that fans have already dubbed DREAM one of the world’s finest mixed martial arts productions.
All bouts were fought under Official DREAM mixed martial arts rules, with a 10 min first and 5 min second round.
Probably the most highly-anticipated fight on the card featured 33 year-old Mirko Cro Cop, who took on Japanese judo fighter Tatsuya Mizuno. Cro Cop wasted no time here, firing in the low kicks from the bell, stepping forward to lock up Mizuno’s right arm then pumping in uppercuts and straight punches to deposit his opponent on the canvas in a heap of pain. Cro Cop leapt atop the unresponsive Mizuno for a ground and pound finish, leaving the referee no choice but to jump in and call it.
“A lot of fighters refuse to fight me these days, but he had courage and he accepted,” said Cro Cop afterward from center ring. “For my next fight, I will need a stronger opponent, so anyone is welcome!” Who will answer the call?