Melvin Manhoef. Photo courtesy of FEG.
The changes keep coming for Tim Kennedy.
The U.S. military veteran has now been offered a bout against dangerous Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef for the main card of Strikeforce's first-ever trip to Columbus, Ohio on March 5. MMAJunkie.com was the first to report the news.
Kennedy was originally slated for a third showdown against rival Jason "Mayhem" Miller, but Miller was replaced by middleweight contender Luke Rockhold last week before Manhoef came into the picture.
We will be going live at 3:00 AM EST with live results of DREAM.10, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The card will be headlined by a lightweight bout between Shinya Aoki and Vitor Riberio. Also on the card is the welterweight tournament semifinals featuring Hayato Sakurai vs. Marius Zaromskis and Andre Galvao vs. Jason High.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments throughout the evening. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Melvin Manhoef. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group, the parent company of DREAM, has announced that two-time K-1 kickboxing champion Jerome LeBanner will not be able to participate in his bout against Mark Hunt at FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008 tomorrow after being hospitalized with the flu.
Melvin Manhoef has been tapped to replace the Frenchman and will fight for the first time since announcing that he was entering into a temporary retirement following a disappointing first-round submission loss to eventful DREAM middleweight grand prix winner Gegard Mousasi in September.
Prior to his loss to Mousasi, Manhoef had defeated Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. Manhoef, a native of Holland, also owns career victories over Ian Freeman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.
Melvin Manhoef. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Melvin Manhoef has announced his retirement following his disappointing first-round submission loss to eventful DREAM middleweight grand prix winner Gegard Mousasi at DREAM.6 last week in Japan. Manhoef’s manager, Mike Passandier, reportedly revealed his client’s decision over the weekend.
According to Passandier, Manhoef wants to spend more time with his family after spending the last couple of years constantly training and fighting. However Manhoef has also stated that his retirement could be temporary, although a timetable for his return has not been set.
Manhoef split time throughout his career between kickboxing and mixed martial arts, all while competing mostly for Cage Rage and Fighting and Entertainment-owned promotions. He compiled a 22-5-1 record.
He became Cage Rage’s light heavyweight champion after defeating Fabio Piamonte in September 2005 and went on to successfully defend the belt two times before spending the remainder of his career with K-1 Hero’s and DREAM. Manhoef’s biggest career win came earlier this year when he earned a first-round TKO of Kazushi Sakuraba in June.
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.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
DREAM has announced the pairings for the final round of it’s inaugural middleweight grand prix, which will culminate at DREAM.6 on September 26th at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The event will be televised live on HDNet in North America.
Grappling wizard Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, who won a hard-fought decision over Jason “Mayhem” Miller to advance to the tournament’s final round, will take on skilled kickboxer Zelg Galesic in one semi-final. The other will see tournament favorite Melvin Manhoef face off against well-rounded rising prospect Gegard Mousasi. The winners of both bouts will then fight in the show’s main event.
Also announced for DREAM.6 was a featherweight bout between the streaking Hideo Tokoro, winner of his last two fights, and Shooto and Pancrase product Atsushi Yamamoto. Additional rumored participants include former PRIDE heavyweight standout Mirko Cro Cop, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, and rising middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama.
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.”