“Kid” Yamamoto. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
DREAM parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group today revealed the promotion’s schedule for the new year, with DREAM’s first show being held on March 8 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and featuring the opening rounds of the organization’s inaugural featherweight and welterweight grand prix tournaments.
In total, DREAM will put on seven total shows in ‘09. Solidified dates for shows include April 5 at Nippon Gaishi Hall and December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena for the annual year-end K-1 Dynamite show. DREAM officials are also planning to hold shows in May, July, September, and October.
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.
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.
There are four fights in round two with the winners moving on to DREAM.6 where a champion will be crowned.
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
Jason “Mayhem” Miller scored a TKO win over Katsuyori Shibata to move onto the second round of DREAM’s inaugural middleweight grand prix, where he will face submission wizard Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Photo courtesy of FEG.
DREAM officials late last night announced the quarterfinal matchups for the organization’s inaugural middleweight grand prix tournament, of which the second-round will take place on June 15th at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba will go up against hard-hitting Dutch kickboxer Melvin Manhoef in the night’s most high-profile tournament matchup. Sakuraba scored a first round submission of Karate practitioner Andrews Nakahara to move on.
Manhoef will be replacing longtime veteran Kiyoshi Tamura, who was forced to pull out of the tourney after suffering a broken finger in his last fight. Manhoef stopped Dae Won Kim with strikes in a tournament reserve bout earlier this month.
Additional second-round matchups announced include Gegard Mousasi vs. Dong Sik Yoon, Jason Miller vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and Zelg Galesic vs. Taiei Kin in a rematch of their controversial K-1 Hero’s bout in October of last year.
Already previously announced for the event was a lightweight grand prix bout between tournament favorite Shinya Aoki and former Olympic wrestler Katsuhiko Nagata.
Eddie Alvarez throws one of his many successful right hands in the first round of his fight last night in Japan against Joachim Hansen. Alvarez won an unanimous decision to move on in DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Eddie Alvarez and Caol Uno each pulled off surprising upsets in the second-round of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament late last night in Japan to solidify their respective spots in the finals later this summer.
The 21,789 that witnessed DREAM’s third effort this year inside the Saitama Super Arena also saw Uno, who fought as a late-entrant into the tourney, overcome a ring-rust filled first round to eventually submit top-ranked Mitsuhiro Ishida with a rear naked choke in the second round.
The first minute of the fight had both fighters content to paw away with short jabs while measuring the distance between one another. Uno picked up the action in the form of leg kicks while Ishida attempted to counter Uno’s kicks with lefts. An errant kick to the groin by Ishida forced Uno to take some time to recover, but the veteran quickly got his bearings back and knocked Ishida down with a crisp right, opening a cut on the bridge of his nose that forced the ringside doctor to stop the clock for a quick check.
Ishida scored a single-leg takedown with about a minute left in the first stanza but Uno was able to reverse position and control his opponent from top position during the closing moments, potentially earning back the round in his favor. After another feeling-out period started the second round, a scramble on the ground saw Uno quickly take Ishida’s back and sink-in the fight-ending choke from behind.
“I know Ishida was eager to fight me,” Uno said after the fight, “He was aggressive and was obviously confident, but I’m the one going home with the win. I’m very happy to be advancing in the tournament.”
Nick Diaz throws a left hand at Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Here are the complete results from last night’s DREAM.3 event, which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The event featured the second-round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. Tatsuya Kawajiri, Eddie Alvarez, and Caol Uno all moved on. Nick Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller were also victorious in their respective DREAM debuts. A full recap of the event will come later today.
Takeshi Yamazaki def. Shoji Maruyama - Unanimous Decision
Jason Miller def. Katsuyori Shibata - TKO (Strikes)
Melvin Manhoef def. Dae Won Kim - TKO (Strikes)
Daisuke Nakamura def. Bu Kyung Jung - KO (Punch)
Nick Diaz def. Katsuya Inoue - TKO (Corner Stoppage)
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Luiz Firmino - Unanimous Decision
Eddie Alvarez def. Joachim Hansen - Unanimous Decision
Caol Uno def. Mitsuhiro Ishida - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
With a scheduled lightweight bout between Nick Diaz and Katsuya Inoue now seemingly set to happen once again, the fight card for DREAM’s second effort in as many weeks is now complete.
The event, which will once again take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, will be highlighted by the second-round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. Second-round grand prix matchups set to happen include Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luis Buscape, Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno, who will be fighting as a late-entrant into the tourney, and Joachim Hansen vs. EliteXC’s Eddie Alvarez.
Take note that Shinya Aoki, who won an unanimous decision over Gesias Calvancante last week, will face Katsuhiko Nagata in the fourth tournament bout at the organization’s June 15th show, thus why only three grand prix bouts are slated for tomorrow morning/night in Japan.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who has not fought since avenging a previous loss to Tim Kennedy in December, will take on K-1 Hero’s veteran Katsuyori Shibata, loser of his last three fights.
Those in North America will be able to see the event live on HDNet starting at 3 AM ET. A replay of the event is slated to air at 4 PM ET on Sunday afternoon for those who don’t feel like staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch the show from Tokyo.
The full card for the event is as follows:
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Bouts:
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luiz Firmino
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno
Joachim Hansen vs. Eddie Alvarez
Jason Miller vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Nick Diaz vs. Katsuya Inoue
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kim Dae Won
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Bukyung Jung
Takeshi Yamazaki vs. Shoji Maruyama
Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller will fight for the first time in 2008 when he takes on Katsuyori Shibata at DREAM’s upcoming May 11th show in Saitama, Japan.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who have confirmed the bout with an organizer close to the event.
Miller has not fought since avenging a previous loss to Tim Kennedy at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon in December. The Team Quest member is currently riding a three-fight winning streak and has also won eight out of his last nine fights, his lone loss coming at the hands of Frank Trigg over a year and a half ago.
Shibata, who is a part-time professional wrestler along with being a veteran of K-1 Hero’s and Jungle Fight, has lost his last three fights and has not fought since being stopped at the hands of Min Suk Heo in October of last year.
The May 11th show will also feature the second-round of the organization’s lightweight grand-prix.
Tito Ortiz turns 33 and celebrates in style at Catwalk in the above video courtesy of RawVegas.
Catching up on this past weekend’s news…
More Rumored TUF Participants
Even more potential cast members of the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter have come to light thanks to MMA Junkie and Five Ounces of Pain. Those added to the list (which already includes Luke Zachrich and Mike Marrello) are the following:
Couture Likes Sylvia Over Nogueira
In a recent interview with Jose Rodriguez of the Calgary Sun, current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture revealed that he expects Tim Sylvia to defeat former PRIDE champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81: Breaking Point this weekend.
“I think it’s going to be a good fight. I’m a fan of the sport first and foremost. I think it’s an interesting matchup. Nogueira’s strenght tends to be on the ground and in the submission game and Tim is just a long, strong hard to take down guy who’s got great striking abilities. It’s a classic matchup and for the interim title so they both have a lot on the line. I like Tim’s chances in that fight given Nogueira’s performace against Heath Herring in the last fight. I like Sylvia in a stoppage of some kind.”
Former PRIDE producer Hiromichi Momose was found dead in his Tokyo, Japan apartment yesterday morning. He was 67. Countdown to UFC 81 premieres Wednesday night while UFC All-Access with Brock Lesnar will air for the first time on Thursday. Jason Miller will be holding a seminar in Hamilton, Ontario in February.
Jarry Park: Tyson Griffin Is Mr. Fight Of The Night
Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Frank Trigg were both victorious last night in their respective bouts, setting up a potential rematch of their ICON Sport middleweight title bout that took place just one year ago.
The 6,754 that packed into the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas saw a main event between Miller and Tim Kennedy live up to expectations as a very competitive bout. Kennedy came away with the first round on the scorecards, using superior striking and wrestling to keep Miller at bay. Kennedy came close to ending the fight when he secured Miller’s back and had an extended amount of time to try and sink in a rear naked choke. The opportunity was foiled when the horn sounded to end the round.
Both fighters came out of the gate firing away with punches and kicks to start the second. Kennedy (8-2) once again took control of Miller (20-5) from behind but Miller was able to reverse the position and put Kennedy on his back. Miller fired away with punches and elbows that opened up a nasty cut on the bridge of Kennedy’s nose. “Mayhem” started to pull away in the final stanza after securing an early takedown.
Kennedy’s cut was checked by ringside doctors on two different occasions but the bout was permitted to continue both times. The fight was restarted on the feet by the referee after the second check of the cut and gave Kennedy the opportunity to take Miller down. However Kennedy was unable to generate much offense because of multiple submission attempts by Miller. Miller rolled Kennedy to his back and pounded away on his opponent until the end of the fight. The judges convened and their scorecards all matched up as Miller was awarded a well-earned unanimous decision, finally avenging a loss to Kennedy earlier in his career.
When asked who he would like to take on in his next fight, Miller hysterically stated that he wouldn’t mind fighting HDNet Fights owner and famed billionaire Mark Cuban for each other’s wallets. While Cuban won’t be standing across the cage against Miller in his next fight, Trigg most likely will be.