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.”
Daisuke Nakamura will fight for the second time in five days when he faces K-1 kickboxer Andy Ologun, the brother of Japanese television personality and part-time fighter Bobby Ologun, in a special rules bout that will feature two, five-minute rounds. Nakamura was victorious this past Thursday, winning a decision over Bogdan Christea. Ologun only has one MMA bout under his belt, a decision win against fellow kickboxer Ken Kaneko at K-1 Premium Dynamite 2006.
Despite being involved in a minor car accident earlier this week that temporarily put his scheduled bout against former DEEP title challenger Takeshi Yamazaki in jeopardy, longtime K-1 veteran Hideo Tokoro has confirmed that he is healthy enough to compete at the event.
The final card for the event is as follows:
Lightweight Grand Prix:
Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Shinya Aoki vs. Caol Uno
[Winners of Alvarez/Kawajiri and Aoki/Uno will fight in the main event]
Joachim Hansen vs. Kultar Gill (Reserve Bout)
Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Motoki Miyazawa
Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki
Joe Benavidez vs. Junya “Kodo” Kudo
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Andy Ologun