Kuniyoshi Hironaka

The Daily Recap: Grove, Riggs May Rematch in ProElite, Bustamante Hurt & More

Joe “Diesel” Riggs. Photo courtesy of Strikeforce.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— UFC veterans Kendall Grove and Joe Riggs are likely to rematch under the ProElite banner at the promotion's relaunch event on August 27 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both fighters are coming off of recent releases from the UFC and Bellator respectively. Grove and Riggs originally fought in May 2004, with Riggs coming away the victor via first-round KO at Rumble on the Rock 5. [MMAFighting.com]

— Former UFC middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming farewell bout against Yuya Shirai at a Clube da Luta event in Brazil this Wednesday due to a back injury suffered in training. Bustamante will be replaced by Delson Heleno, who will take on Shirai at a 180 lbs catchweight. [Tatame]

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DREAM.6 Live Results


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. 

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Three More Bouts Added to DREAM.6 Card


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.

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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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Hansen-Gill, Others Added to DREAM.5


Joachim Hansen. Photo courtesy of DREAM.

DREAM officials announced yesterday three additional bouts for the promotion’s upcoming fifth show on July 21st in Japan. The most high-profile matchup will see former PRIDE lightweight standout Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen go up against Kultar Gill in a lightweight tournament reserve bout.

Hansen was eliminated from the tourney after losing a hard-fought unanimous decision to Eddie Alvarez in a fight-of-the-year candidate in May. He will now take on Gill, who lost an unanimous decision to Tatsuya Kawajiri at the organization’s inaugural show back in March.

Loser of his last four fights, part-time professional wrestler Katsuyori Shibata will try to pick up his first victory in over a year against highly-ranked middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama, who has seen his stock rise immensely over the past twelve months with a brutal knockout of Denis Kang last October. However it’s also interesting to note that two out of Akiyama’s last three fights have been ruled no-contests.

UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka will also return to action against undefeated Cage Force product Motoki Miyazawa. Hironaka went 1-3 in his two-year stint with the UFC, his lone win an unanimous decision over Forrest Petz at UFC Fight Night 9 last April. Former PRIDE heavyweight contender Mark Hunt is also being advertised as competing at the event.

The show will feature the finals of DREAM’s first-ever lightweight grand prix. Eddie Alvarez will battle tough wrestler Tatsuya Kawajiri and tournament favorite Shinya Aoki will take on longtime veteran Caol Uno in separate semi-final matches that will see the winners duke it out later in the night. Pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will fight for the first time in ‘08 as he takes on undefeated California native Joe Benavidez.

HT: Japan MMA

Hometown Hero: St. Pierre Stops Serra in Montreal


Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

One year removed from his original upset loss to Matt Serra, Georges St. Pierre was finally able to avenge the defeat, dominating Serra on the mat over two rounds en route to regaining his UFC welterweight title in UFC 83’s historic main event.

The raucous crowd packed inside Montreal, Quebec’s Bell Centre saw St. Pierre surprise many in the opening seconds of the fight as he opted to take Serra down. After being on the receiving end of an array of strikes, Serra eventually worked his way back to his feet before finding himself on his back once again.

Any chances for another first-round Serra knockout were spoiled in a big way. With a mouse forming under Serra’s right eye, the Long Island native came out from his corner looking to throw down at the start of the second round. St. Pierre unfortunately had a different idea.

St. Pierre scored yet another early takedown. Serra mounted a bit of offense once the fight hit the feet, connecting with a head kick. However with fatigue setting in, Serra was unable to capitalize, allowing St. Pierre to land a handful of stiff jabs before shooting in for a takedown.

Once on the mat, St. Pierre unleashed a barrage of unanswered punches and knees to the body that forced Serra to cover up and referee Yves Lavigne to ultimately stop the fight, handing St. Pierre the title that he likely should have never lost in the first place.

“My strategy going in was to make it a physical fight,” St. Pierre said in his post-fight interview with Kenny Florian, who filled in for usual color commentator Joe Rogan. “I wanted to make him tired as much as I could because I know have the conditioning. I was trying to mix it up as much as I could.”

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UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II Weigh-In Results


Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre pose at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II show are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

The event will be headlined by current welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra unifying their belts in a main event rematch of their fight at UFC 69: Shootout last year, where Serra stopped St. Pierre with strikes to win the UFC welterweight title.

Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will also be in action, taking on the middleweight winner of the fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter, Travis Lutter. Additional main card bouts include Nate Quarry vs. Kalib Starnes, Michael Bisping vs. Charles McCarthy, and Mac Danzig vs. Mark Bocek.

Main Card:

Matt Serra (169.5 lbs) vs. Georges St. Pierre (169.5 lbs)
Rich Franklin (185.5 lbs) vs. Travis Lutter (185 lbs)
Nate Quarry (185.5 lbs) vs. Kalib Starnes (186 lbs)
Michael Bisping (185.5 lbs) vs. Charles McCarthy (186 lbs)
Mac Danzig (154.5 lbs) vs. Mark Bocek (154.5 lbs)

Preliminary Bouts:

Jason MacDonald (185 lbs) vs. Joe Doerksen (184.5 lbs)
Sam Stout (155.5 lbs) vs. Rich Clementi (155 lbs)
Ed Herman (185.5 lbs) vs. Demian Maia (184.5 lbs)
Jonathan Goulet (169.5 lbs) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (170 lbs)
Alan Belcher (185 lbs) vs. Jason Day (183.5 lbs)
Cain Velasquez (235.5 lbs) vs. Brad Morris (225.5 lbs)

Screenshots from this afternoon’s weigh-ins featuring St. Pierre and Serra are after the jump, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

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St. Pierre, UFC Set to Invade Canada


Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra square off at the weigh-ins for UFC 69: Shootout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

After years of waiting, the Ultimate Fighting Championship finally made their first trek up to Canada official when they announced UFC 83: St. Pierre vs Serra II during a press conference earlier today at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada earlier this morning.

In attendance at the press conference were UFC President Dana White and current welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra who will unify their belts in a main event rematch of their fight at UFC 69: Shootout last year, where Serra stopped St. Pierre with strikes to win the UFC welterweight title.

“I’m actually excited to go to Canada and fight St-Pierre in his hometown,” Serra said at the press conference earlier today. “I think this puts more pressure on him than it does me. I know he’s going to come at me hard, but I’m ready for that and I’m preparing for a great fight. I know that’s what I would do if a guy knocked me out like that. But I plan on staying the champ and taking my belt back home to Long Island.”

St. Pierre, a native of Montreal, will be fighting in front of his hometown under the UFC banner for the first time in his career. After originally speculating that St. Pierre would not be ready in time for the event due to his bout against Matt Hughes in December, St. Pierre came away with the interim welterweight belt relatively unscathed, allowing him to partake in the historic event.

“I am at the same point as I was last year when I fought Matt Serra, except this time I am fighting as the contender not the champion,” said St-Pierre. “It’s a dream come true to have this historic UFC event in Canada, I’ve waited my whole life for this opportunity, and especially fighting for – and winning – the world title in front of my people.”

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