Shinya Aoki

Aoki, Sakurai Confirmed for DREAM GP

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.

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Japanese Notebook: DREAM Releases 2009 Schedule

“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.

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Aoki Clamoring for Fight Against Penn

Shinya Aoki. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.

Even though it may not be possible, at the moment or ever, Japanese grappling wizard Shinya Aoki wants to test himself against the best that MMA’s lightweight division has to offer - UFC lightweight title holder B.J. Penn.


“Personally, the most decisive fight in the world, the culmination, the pinnacle for me is B.J. Penn,” Aoki said on the eve of arguably his greatest victory. “Please do not misunderstand—I really need this to be clearly expressed in the media: Shinya Aoki will not go to the UFC. I just want to fight B.J. Penn. This is my selfish wish. I know that everyone says they want Penn, but I think I’m the number one Japanese fighter to be saying this.”

After his win over Eddie Alvarez last week, Aoki also got on the microphone and called out UFC President Dana White in the center of the ring, claiming that the best organization in the sport right now has to be DREAM. His comments go along with FEG President Sadaharu Tanigawa’s statement earlier this week saying that he would to purchase the UFC if the promotion were to go under because of the recent struggles of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta’s Station Casinos empire.

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Alvarez, Aoki to Fight for Vacant WAMMA Lightweight Title

Eddie Alvarez. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.


After reports had circulated for several weeks that a highly-anticipated lightweight attraction set for New Year’s Eve between Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki would decide the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts’ (WAMMA) first-ever undisputed lightweight champion, WAMMA officials announced Monday that it will recognize the winner of the bout as its first-ever lightweight champion.

The undisputed WAMMA lightweight title bout between Alvarez, WAMMA’s number two ranked lightweight, and Aoki, WAMMA’s number three ranked lightweight, will take place December 31 in Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena during FEG’s “FieLDS Dynamite!!”

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Aoki-Alvarez, Hunt-LeBanner Announced for Dynamite!! 2008

Shinya Aoki. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.

Fighting and Entertainment Group today announced two additional bouts that will take place at K-1’s “Dynamite!! 2008” event on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan: DREAM lightweight grand prix standouts Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez will clash in a long-awaited battle while former K-1 kickboxers Mark Hunt and Jerome LeBanner will fight for the first time under MMA rules.

Aoki and Alvarez were originally slated to meet in the finals of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix in July, but Alvarez was forced out of the bout by Japanese officials due to an eye injury suffered in his semi-final fight against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Joachim Hansen replaced Alvarez and went onto upset Aoki with a first-round TKO win.

Since then, Alvarez has been on a temporary hiatus so he could get married in his hometown of Philadelphia while Aoki bounced back with a dominating performance against World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Todd Moore at DREAM.6 on September 23.

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CKA for December 2, 2008

WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner.  Photo courtesy of the WEC.

WEC 38 made official

WEC has announced that their next event following tomorrow night’s show will take place in San Diego on January 25, 2009. 

World Extreme Cagefighting® today announced that for the first event of 2009, the cage will head west to the hotbed of mixed martial arts - California - to hold the first ever WEC® event in San Diego. Two blockbuster matchups will lead the main card, with the World Lightweight Championship fight between Jamie Varner and undefeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as the main event, and the mega-rematch pitting Urijah Faber against Jens Pulver in the co-main event.  World Extreme Cagefighting, featuring Varner vs. Cerrone and Faber vs. Pulver 2, takes place live from the San Diego Sports Arena on Sunday, January 25, 2009.

Aoki vs Alvarez on NYE?

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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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Evening News and Notes - Sept. 16, 2008

Wanderlei Silva. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Here’s a little mix of news and notes that we missed over the past few days…

Jackson-Silva III Likely for UFC 91

Amidst lingering rumors that the two were set to rematch later this year, it seems that former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will reportedly indeed take on longtime PRIDE middleweight title holder Wanderlei Silva at UFC 91 on November 15 according to MMA Junkie.

Sources within the Wolfslair camp, which Jackson recently joined after parting ways with trainer Juanito Ibarra, have said that Jackson has agreed to the fight and has already begun training. Attempts to contact Wolfslair co-owner Anthony McGann for confirmation by MMA on Tap were unsuccessful.

Jackson and Silva have fought on two separate occasions and Silva was victorious in both fighters. Silva stopped Jackson with strikes in the first round of their original meeting at PRIDE Final Conflict 2003 and then scored a second-round knockout of him at PRIDE 28 four years ago.

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Shields Claims Aoki is Ducking Him

Shinya Aoki. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.

During the ongoing process to find EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields an opponent for the promotion’s scheduled October 4th show on CBS, various options and fighters were considered. Defending his title against John Alessio, who is currently recovering from a broken arm, and challenging Matt Lindland at Affliction’s latest event were discussed before EliteXC officials and Shields eventually decided on British sensation Paul Daley.

However one name that went previously unmentioned but is now popping up is standout grappler Shinya Aoki. According to Shields, EliteXC is currently attempting to book Aoki to face him in the near future. Shields doesn’t think that the fight will take place though according to what he told MMA Weekly:

“I guess they were trying to get Aoki, but he’s got no bushido,” Shields said. “I don’t think Aoki wants to fight me. He’s got no warrior spirit. He’s from Japan, who’d have thought?”

Aoki could easily be brought in to face Shields because of the working partnership EliteXC and DREAM formed earlier this year. It’s key to note though that he hasn’t fought at 170 lbs in over a year. Eddie Alvarez‘s stint in Japan has worked out great for both sides but being able to use the services of Aoki may cost EliteXC one of their bigger name stars. Aoki is arguably one of if not the biggest attraction for the promotion right now. Who would EliteXC have to give up in order to bring Aoki stateside?

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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