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.”
Joachim Hansen. Photo courtesy of DREAM.
DREAM officials announced yesterday three additional bouts for the promotion’s upcoming fifth show on July 21st in Japan. The most high-profile matchup will see former PRIDE lightweight standout Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen go up against Kultar Gill in a lightweight tournament reserve bout.
Hansen was eliminated from the tourney after losing a hard-fought unanimous decision to Eddie Alvarez in a fight-of-the-year candidate in May. He will now take on Gill, who lost an unanimous decision to Tatsuya Kawajiri at the organization’s inaugural show back in March.
Loser of his last four fights, part-time professional wrestler Katsuyori Shibata will try to pick up his first victory in over a year against highly-ranked middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama, who has seen his stock rise immensely over the past twelve months with a brutal knockout of Denis Kang last October. However it’s also interesting to note that two out of Akiyama’s last three fights have been ruled no-contests.
UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka will also return to action against undefeated Cage Force product Motoki Miyazawa. Hironaka went 1-3 in his two-year stint with the UFC, his lone win an unanimous decision over Forrest Petz at UFC Fight Night 9 last April. Former PRIDE heavyweight contender Mark Hunt is also being advertised as competing at the event.
The show will feature the finals of DREAM’s first-ever lightweight grand prix. Eddie Alvarez will battle tough wrestler Tatsuya Kawajiri and tournament favorite Shinya Aoki will take on longtime veteran Caol Uno in separate semi-final matches that will see the winners duke it out later in the night. Pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will fight for the first time in ‘08 as he takes on undefeated California native Joe Benavidez.
HT: Japan MMA
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.”
Nick Diaz throws a left hand at Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Here are the complete results from last night’s DREAM.3 event, which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The event featured the second-round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. Tatsuya Kawajiri, Eddie Alvarez, and Caol Uno all moved on. Nick Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller were also victorious in their respective DREAM debuts. A full recap of the event will come later today.
Takeshi Yamazaki def. Shoji Maruyama - Unanimous Decision
Jason Miller def. Katsuyori Shibata - TKO (Strikes)
Melvin Manhoef def. Dae Won Kim - TKO (Strikes)
Daisuke Nakamura def. Bu Kyung Jung - KO (Punch)
Nick Diaz def. Katsuya Inoue - TKO (Corner Stoppage)
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Luiz Firmino - Unanimous Decision
Eddie Alvarez def. Joachim Hansen - Unanimous Decision
Caol Uno def. Mitsuhiro Ishida - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
With a scheduled lightweight bout between Nick Diaz and Katsuya Inoue now seemingly set to happen once again, the fight card for DREAM’s second effort in as many weeks is now complete.
The event, which will once again take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, will be highlighted by the second-round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. Second-round grand prix matchups set to happen include Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luis Buscape, Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno, who will be fighting as a late-entrant into the tourney, and Joachim Hansen vs. EliteXC’s Eddie Alvarez.
Take note that Shinya Aoki, who won an unanimous decision over Gesias Calvancante last week, will face Katsuhiko Nagata in the fourth tournament bout at the organization’s June 15th show, thus why only three grand prix bouts are slated for tomorrow morning/night in Japan.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who has not fought since avenging a previous loss to Tim Kennedy in December, will take on K-1 Hero’s veteran Katsuyori Shibata, loser of his last three fights.
Those in North America will be able to see the event live on HDNet starting at 3 AM ET. A replay of the event is slated to air at 4 PM ET on Sunday afternoon for those who don’t feel like staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch the show from Tokyo.
The full card for the event is as follows:
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Bouts:
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luiz Firmino
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno
Joachim Hansen vs. Eddie Alvarez
Jason Miller vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Nick Diaz vs. Katsuya Inoue
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kim Dae Won
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Bukyung Jung
Takeshi Yamazaki vs. Shoji Maruyama
Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller will fight for the first time in 2008 when he takes on Katsuyori Shibata at DREAM’s upcoming May 11th show in Saitama, Japan.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who have confirmed the bout with an organizer close to the event.
Miller has not fought since avenging a previous loss to Tim Kennedy at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon in December. The Team Quest member is currently riding a three-fight winning streak and has also won eight out of his last nine fights, his lone loss coming at the hands of Frank Trigg over a year and a half ago.
Shibata, who is a part-time professional wrestler along with being a veteran of K-1 Hero’s and Jungle Fight, has lost his last three fights and has not fought since being stopped at the hands of Min Suk Heo in October of last year.
The May 11th show will also feature the second-round of the organization’s lightweight grand-prix.