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.
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?
We will be going live at 1:00 AM EST with live results of K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!!, which is taking place at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan
The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action as well as annual Dynamite!! participants Bobby Ologun and Kiyoshi Tamura.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results are shown after the jump.
John Chandler here again, breaking down Yarennoka! and K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
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.
K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! features an astounding total of 13 fights - 7 MMA bouts and 6 kickboxing matches. (I’ll only be previewing the MMA fights) The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Tamura, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action.
When Alfred Tennyson wrote “ring out the old, ring in the new,” the English poet was referring to the pealing of church bells to mark the beginning of a new year. It is also a Japanese tradition to strike the temple bell on December 31, but these days Tennyson’s phrase could just as easily be applied to the ringside bell at the Dynamite!! New Year’s Eve fight-sport extravaganza.
Over the last five years, K-1 Premium Dynamite!! has become one of the most widely-watched television productions in Japan, with estimates of up to 30 million viewers. This is fight-sport entertainment for the entire family, and tomorrow’s lineup is designed for maximum appeal. The evening’s 15 fights will feature wily veterans and wide-eyed teens; popular television “tarento” and foreign behemoths; and yes, more than a few match ups aimed at martial arts purists.
Seven bouts will be fought under Hero’s Rules (mixed martial arts), and eight under K-1 Rules (stand-up).
The Dynamite!! 2007 fighters met with the media this afternoon at the Osaka Imperial Hotel, to share their thoughts in advance of tomorrow night’s Kyocera Dome showdown.