Hideo Tokoro. Photo courtesy of DREAM.
Hideo Tokoro bested fellow submission specialist Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision to win DREAM's inaugural bantamweight grand prix tournament at the organization's "Fight for Japan: Japan Grand Prix Final" event on Saturday at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
A pair of title defenses also took place: Hiroyuki Takaya grinded out a hard-fought split decision win over former Olympic wrestler Kazuyuki Miyata and Gegard Mousasi took out challenger Hiroshi Izumi in quick and impressive fashion, scoring a first round stoppage of the Japanese judoka.
Another notable winners on the card included world-ranked lightweight Tatsuya Kawajiri, DREAM welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis and DREAM bantamweight grand prix third-place winner Kenji Osawa.
Gegard Mousasi. Photo courtesy of DREAM.
All sixteen fighters scheduled to compete at DREAM's "Fight for Japan: Japan Grand Prix Final" event on Saturday successfully made weight yesterday afternoon.
Seasoned veteran Drew Fickett originally came in two pounds over the 154-lb limit for his fight against Tatsuya Kawajiri, but shed the extra weight and hit the required mark a couple of hours later.
The eight-fight card, which will not air live in North America, features a pair of title fights - DREAM light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi taking on Hiroshi Izumi and featherweight title holder Hiroyuki Takaya returning to face Kazuyuki Miyata - as well as the bantamweight grand prix finals featuring submission specialists Masakazu Imanari and Hideo Tokoro.
Joe Warren. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group today announced the semifinal matchups for the inaugural DREAM featherweight grand prix, which will continue at DREAM.11 on October 6 at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.
Following his shocking victories over Chase Beebe and Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, upstart wrestler Joe Warren will take on skilled grappler Bibiano Fernandes while WEC veteran Hiroyuki Takaya will face K-1 mainstay Hideo Tokoro.
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.
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.”
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.”
Hideo Tokoro. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
Longtime K-1 veteran Hideo Tokoro was involved in a minor car accident earlier this week that may put his scheduled bout against former DEEP title challenger Takeshi Yamazaki at Monday’s DREAM.5 event in Japan in jeopardy.
According to Sherdog.com’s Jordan Breen, citing Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, Tokoro’s vehicle was stuck in traffic in Tokyo Wednesday afternoon when he was hit from behind by an oncoming automobile. Tokoro suffered a mild waist and back injury and was hospitalized as a precautionary measure but quickly released.
The bruising from his injury will reportedly only take a week for Tokoro to recover from, but his bout against Yamazaki now remains in doubt being that the event is less than a handful of days away.
DREAM parent company Fight Entertainment Group has yet to make a public statement about the matter. Breen was able to discover through an official at Japanese promotion ZST that Tokoro’s camp is “optimistic” in terms of whether or not he will be able to fight next week. Fight Opinion’s Zach Arnold states that FEG officials will likely make a decision tomorrow concerning Tokoro’s participation at the event.
Hideo Tokoro attempts to submit Brad Pickett with a heel hook. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
A featherweight bout between K-1 veteran Hideo Tokoro and former DEEP title challenger Takeshi Yamazaki has been added to the undercard for Monday’s DREAM.5 event, which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The promotion officially announced the fight earlier today.
Tokoro turned heads at the DREAM middleweight grand prix quarterfinals in May, winning a hard-fought unanimous decision over Strikeforce veteran Darren Uyenoyama in one of ‘08’s current ‘fight of the year’ candidates. Prior to that, he was submitted by Kiyoshi Tamura at K-1 Premium Dynamite!! 2007 on New Year’s Eve.
Yamazaki, who has fought primarily in DEEP and Shooto, is currently riding a four-fight winning streak that extends back to February of last year. He most recently won an unanimous decision over Shoji Maruyama at DREAM.3 in May and submitted Daiki Ozaki with a rear naked choke at a February Cage Force show.