Hayato Sakurai. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group on Thursday announced an additional three fights that will take place at DREAM.6 on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Former PRIDE standout Hayato “Mach” Sakurai will be taking on fellow UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka. Sakurai was originally rumored to be facing Nick Diaz for DREAM’s newly-created welterweight title, but Diaz’s camp has stated that DREAM officials have yet to compensate Diaz for his May 11 win over Katsuya Inoue.
Ikuhisa Minowa will return to the middleweight division to take on Japanese legend Masakatsu Funaki. Minowa open-weight fighting spree continued at DEEP’s “Gladiator” event on August 16 as he surprisingly submitted Don Frye with a first-round kneebar.
Funaki last fell to Kiyoshi Tamura at DREAM.2 in April. It was only his second fight since coming back to professional competition after a seven-year hiatus. Keita Nakamura will fight for the first time since being released by the UFC earlier this year when he takes on Brazilian product Adriano Martins at the event as well.
DREAM.6 will feature the final round of the promotion’s inaugural grand prix. Melvin Manhoef will take on Gegard Mousasi and Zelg Galesic will face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza with the two winners meeting in the show’s main event. Judo expert Dong Sik Yoon will take on karate stylist Andrews Nakahara in the tournament reserve bout.
Additional fights that have been signed to take place include a featherweight meeting between Hideo Tokoro and Atushi Yamamoto, a heavyweight bout between Sergei Kharitonov and popular K-1 kickboxer Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga, and a grudge match between former PRIDE standout Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
DREAM officials have also confirmed that they expect top-ranked middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama to compete on the card as well. Japanese media reports have stated that Akiyama has been offered three different opponents but has yet to respond to any of the offers.
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