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.
Frank Trigg grapples with Renato Verissimo. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
DREAM parent company Fight Entertainment Group has announced that collegiate wrestler Ian Murphy will take the place of former UFC welterweight title contender Frank Trigg against renowned grappler Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a first-round middleweight grand prix bout.
The promotion made the change to the fight card earlier this week through their official website.
Despite being announced as participating at the event, Trigg revealed days later that although he had been in contact with DREAM officials about possibly fighting for the promotion, they had not struck a deal nor signed any sort of contract. The Xtreme Couture member also stated that a last-minute deal would not even be able to work out due to potential visa issues.
Murphy will be making his professional mixed martial arts debut at the event and at the time of publication, MMA on Tap was unable to confirm if he had any amateur experience at all.
Murphy is coming off of his senior wrestling season at Cal State Fullerton where he racked up a 27-9 record before losing in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The Corona, California native is currently ranked as the top wrestler in the Pac-10 Conference and 11th in the country at 184 lbs according to USA Wrestling.