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