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.
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.”
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
Jake Shields. Photo courtesy of ProElite.
Shields vs Fickett Delayed Again
EliteXC has announced that the Welterweight Title fight between Jake Shield and Drew Fickett has been delayed once again. Originally scheduled for the undercard of the Frank Shamrock vs Cung Le event, the bout was put off due to Shields suffering a back injury. It had been rescheduled for EliteXC’s June 14th card in Hawaii, but now word comes that Drew Fickett suffered a knee injury.
Just last week, Shields was quoted as saying he was not sure whether he’d be physically ready by June 14th. Now this announcement. Considering the need for EliteXC to start filling their second US network primetime show in late July, this is pretty convenient. It would look bad for Shields to be the one who is injured again, so maybe EliteXC “encouraged” Fickett to ask for the delay. It would certainly not be below EliteXC’s Gary Shaw to do something of that nature.
At this point, the June 14th EliteXC show is still scheduled and will include a lightweight title fight between Yves Edwards and champion KJ Noons, as well as Nick Diaz.
Aoki? JZ? Anyone?
Fresh off his victory over JZ Calcavante in Tokyo on Tuesday at the Dream 2 show, Shinya Aoki’s further participation in the Lightweight Grand Prix is once again clouded. Before the rematch with JZ ever occurred, Aoki has expressed concerns over whether he would be able to fight in the 2nd round of the GP just two weeks after the JZ rematch. Now rumor has it that he suffered some facial injuries and will not be allowed to continue whether he wants to or not. Originally this rumor of the injury was spread by Calcavante’s ATT team. But it was confirmed by the FEG USA head, Mike Jogan, to USA Today.
Aoki “wants to go on, but it’s up to the doctors,” said Mike Kogan, head of U.S. promotion for Dream’s owner, Fight Entertainment Group. The examination is scheduled for later on Friday — keep in mind that Japan is 13 to 18 hours ahead of North America — so Aoki’s fate could be known several hours from now.
American Top Team made it known that JZ was asked to continue into the next round in place of Aoki but that the fighter and FEG could not come to a financial agreement.
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.
Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki weigh-in for DREAM 1. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Less than a month after fans were left with a disappointing ending to a much-anticipated matchup between Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki, Fight Entertainment Group has announced that the two lightweights will rematch at DREAM’s next upcoming event on April 29th.
The show, which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, will also feature the opening round of DREAM’s first middleweight grand prix. Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba will return to action against Karate practitioner Andrews Nakahara in a quarterfinal bout. Additional scheduled fights include Masakatsu Funaki vs. Kiyoshi Tamura and Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi.
Aoki and Calvancante’s bout last month 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 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. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had surgery on this past fall.
FEG officials also revealed the next set of matchups for DREAM’s lightweight grand prix in May: Joachim Hansen will challenge Philadelphia Fight Factory product Eddie Alvarez, Tatsuya Kawajiri will meet Luiz Firmino, and Mitsuhiro Ishida will go up against Caol Uno, who has been added to the bracket as a late entrant.
The winner of Aoki-Calvancante will have no time to rest as they will go on to face Katsuhiko Nagata just twelve days later at the May 11th show.
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?
Good morning bitches! More coverage of last night’s UFC Fight Night to come later on this morning.
Calvancante and Aoki Set to Try Again; Masvidal Added to “Strikeforce At The Dome”
It seems like Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will finally meet at a K-1 show in Japan in March. American Top Team’s manager Richie Guerrero (who manages Calvancante as well) announced the matchup yesterday during an interview on TAGG Radio.
The two were 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. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had knee surgery on this past fall.
Guerrero also revealed that lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal will be competing at the “Strikeforce At The Dome” show next month as well. Masvidal does have an opponent but the name was unable to be announced at the time.
Aleksander Expects April Fight With Barnett
Aleksander Emelianenko, who will be fighting in M-1 Global’s first U.S. show in April along with his brother Fedor, expects to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.
Emelianenko made the announcement via his official website.
Fedor is expected to take on part-time K-1 kickboxer Semmy Schilt but Jeff Monson has also been rumored as a potential opponent. The show will most likely take place right outside of Chicago at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.
Frank Edgar Returns at UFC Fight Night 13
I missed it and I’m sure a lot of other people did but apparently UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg stated that Frankie Edgar would be part of the UFC’s next “Fight Night” in Denver, Colorado in April.
Edgar, who has not lost yet inside of the UFC, still remains undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career as well. Edgar is coming off of a dominating performance over Spencer Fisher en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 78.
Props to Combat Hooligans for catching that.
BodogFight has released the full card for it’s February 1st event in Las Vegas. The Sun is reporting that Brock Lesnar, win or lose, may be tapped to headline the UFC’s June show in London England due to his overseas popularity because of professional wrestling. Roger Gracie may be fighting Hidehiko Yoshida at Sengoku in March.
Fightlinker went live with The Low Blow last night, recapping UFC Fight Night 12. Hilarious.
We will be going live at 6:00 AM EST with live results of Yarennoka!, which is taking place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama. Shinya Aoki, Hayato Sakurai, and Murlio Bustamante will also be competing.
For those that are interested, the event is being shown live on HDNet starting at 6 AM EST.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results and commentary are shown after the jump.