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.
Update 3:30 PM ET: Frank Trigg revealed through his TAGG Radio show today and The Underground Forum that he has not signed with DREAM and not will be fighting Ronaldo Souza, who happens to be a training partner of his at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
DREAM parent company Fight Entertainment Group has announced four more bouts for the first round of the organization’s upcoming middleweight grand prix, which will currently take place on April 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Former UFC welterweight title contender Frank Trigg will take on renowned grappler Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a first round bout. Addtional matchups include Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov, Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin, and Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama.
Also, current EliteXC lightweight Nick Diaz has apparently verbally accepted a bout against Marcelo Garcia according to manager Cesar Gracie.
Nick Diaz has verbally accepted to fight Marcelo Garcia at the next Dream show. (April 29th) Although Garcia inititially accepted the fight, there has been talk that the match will now be scrubbed. According to Dream promoters, Marcelo has now decided that he does not want the fight and it is unclear if Dream will be able to find an opponent in time for Nick to participate. Stay tuned.
The card for the event now looks like this:
DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix
Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Andrews Nakahara
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Frank Trigg vs. Ronaldo Souza
Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin
Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix
Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante
I’d love to have the Octagon mat from UFC 30 in my backyard too. Check out this cat’s collection of stuff.
News and Notes
- Despite various reports that were made over the weekend, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has not signed a contract with the UFC according to Sherdog:
“I have not signed with Zuffa, unlike what people have said on the Internet,” Souza said after his fight. “I was close to signing and fighting in WEC, but nothing is settled right now.”
- The California State Athletic Commission released the drug test results of 6 of the 18 fighters that were tested after UFC 76. Christian Wellisch, Scott Junk, Matt Wiman, Jeremy Stephens, Diego Saraiva, and Michihiro Omigawa all passed. The results of the other 12 fighters are expected to be released at some point this week.
- It seems that Shaq has been using MMA to prepare for the upcoming NBA season:
At seven foot one, Shaquille O’Neal is an intimidating enough opponent on the basketball court but the Miami Heat center has been testing his athleticism in one of the most violent of sports, Ultimate Fighting. Questioned on Monday how he had spent his time during the NBA off-season, O’Neal said he had been in the caged ring taking on challengers in the combination of boxing, martial arts and wrestling.
“I’ve been doing a lot of fighting, a lot of swimming, a lot of hunting and a lot of school work and a lot of reading,” O’Neal told reporters at the Heat’s pre-training camp media day.
Asked what he meant by fighting, O’Neal said: “UFC fighting, Ultimate Fighting, yeah, I’m serious. Every day. You have headgear and so on, it is basically like boxing with wrestling rules. I’m a fan of the sport. I started doing it and then some guys challenged me,” added O’Neal who is reported to earn around $20 million a year with the Heat.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for the find.
- Sam Caplan has announced that he has been hired as the new lead writer and editor of ProElite.com. Congrats Sam.
- UFC Daily has added three new writers to it’s staff.
Forrest Griffin wishes you a good morning.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Luke Thomas of Bloody Elbow is reporting that the The Ultimate Fighter 7 will focus solely on the middleweight division:
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva made an appearance at the Combat Sports Challenge in Richmond, VA this past weekend where he announced to the crowd that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will focus exclusively on the middleweight class. No further details are available at this time. However, if ultimately true, this would be a boon to a comparatively weak division. Stay tuned.
- Fight Opinion via MMA Movement is reporting that renowned grappler Rondalo “Jacare” Souza has announced that he has signed with the UFC.
Souza’s manager, Andre Cabral, apparently made the announcement at a recent Amazon Challenge event and was then later interviewed by a Brazilian news station.
Souza currently sports a professional MMA record of 5-1. He is a veteran of Jungle Fight, fighting in that promotion on four separate occasions. His lone loss came at the hands of Jorge Patino in 2003.
- Rafael Cordeiro of Chute Boxe has stated that Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will fight at the next K-1 Hero’s event in October and then at Cage Rage 24 in December.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed Ken Pavia as his new agent:
Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who recently signed with Strikeforce after the UFC terminated his contract, has become the latest client of Ken Pavia’s MMA Agents sports agency.
Pavia told MMA Junkie of the signing late last night.
Other fighters that Pavia has recently added to his stable also include Cyrille Diabate, James Thompson, Carmelo Marerro, Todd Moore, and Carlo Prater according to the post.
- Fightlinker is passing along it’s own insider information concerning Tito Ortiz and his potential opponent at UFC 78:
I guess we’re at that size now where we start getting tips on stuff. On Saturday night, Tito Ortiz was at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, WA. and got on the mic to say “Blah blah blah blah, my next fight will be against Wanderlei Silva or Rashad Evans”
Sherdog: PRIDE and Prejudice
MMA Weekly: Marines and Sailors use MMA as part of Training
Bloody Elbow: Rankings Roundup: Heavyweight
Five Ounces of Pain: Frank Shamrock to be sued?
FOX Sports: UFC’s light heavyweights carry the sport
Fight Opinion: A Look Behind the Curtain: Zuffa’s Finances Come Into Focus
Yahoo! Sports: Strikeforce proves it isn’t an all-UFC world
411 Mania: Punch Drunk Hangover