Japanese MMA Is Back! Dream Bantamweight GP Starts May 29th
Awesome news out of Tokyo today. Nightmare of Battle is reporting that the rumored Japan Cup that was scheduled for late April now has the Dream name attached to it, a bigger venue, and some really good fights. A press conference officially unveiled that "DREAM Japan GP ~2011 Bantamweight Japan Tournament" will be the official title, and it will be going down May 29th in the Hall of the Saitama Super Arena.
For now, Melendez vs. Kawajiri title fight a go for "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley"
Although the past week's earthquake in Japan initially cast doubt on the fight, a championship bout between lightweight titleholder Gilbert Melendez (18-2 MMA, 8-1 SF) and Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2 MMA, 0-0 SF) is a go.
On Saturday MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported that fellow lightweights K.J. Noons and Jorge Masvidal were told to remain on standby in case their Japanese counterparts were unable to make it to the U.S.
However, sources close to the organization told MMAjunkie.com the past 24 hours have brought word that Melendez vs. Kawajiri should remain part of the April 9 card.
Overeem vs. Duffee (Finally) Official For Dynamite!!, Special Rules Detailed
A previously reported heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and recent UFC castoff Todd Duffee now is set for Friday's DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" event. Before the recent booking of Duffee, DREAM officials talked about Overeem possibly fighting for the organization's first-ever heavyweight title. However, officials said it's currently slated as a regular fight with three five-minute rounds.
Todd Duffee's New Year's Gamble
For a certain kind of MMA fighter, New Year's Eve in Japan represents a simple math problem. It's about risk versus reward, money versus pain and embarrassment, and, more often than not, overflowing optimism versus some very long odds.
Mostly though, it's about money.
That might not be the only reason Todd Duffee reportedly agreed to end a tumultuous 2010 with a fight against Alistair Overeem on this year's Dynamite!! New Year's Eve show, but it's definitely one of the reasons.
An interesting piece on one of the more hyped fights in this week's trio of events.
HDNet airs DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" live on Dec. 31 at 4 a.m. ET
DREAM's year-end show, "Dynamite!! 2010," airs live in the U.S. on HDNet.
HDNet Fights brass officially announced the blockbuster event premieres Friday, Dec. 31, at 4 a.m. ET/1 a.m. PT.
"Dynamite!! 2010" takes place Dec. 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" features a massive 15-bout card loaded with notables. The promotion's featherweight and welterweight titles will both be on the line, as champ Bibiano Fernandes faces Hiroyuki Takaya, while title holder Marius Zaromskis puts his belt on the line against MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba.
Andy Ologun vs. Katsuaki Furuki added to DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010"
Former K-1 kickboxer and recent MMA fighter Andy Ologun (2-1 MMA, 1-1 DREAM) returns to the cage to fight former pro Japanese baseball player Katsuaki Furuki (0-0 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) at the year-end DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" event.
Officials today announced the fight, which takes place at welterweight.
DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and airs on HDNet in the U.S.
FEG Adds More Fights To Dynamite!! Event
Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) today added another round of match-ups to its annual New Year's Eve show as FieLDS Dynamite!! returns to the Saitama Super Arena on Dec. 31 in Saitama, Japan. Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi will make his return to the K-1 circuit to compete against Kyotaro in a kickboxing bout that marks "The Dreamcatcher's" first K-1 rules bout since a TKO win over Musashi at Dynamite!! 2008. Joining them will be Super Hulk Champion Ikuhisa Minowa taking on judo silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi while Japanese mainstay Hayato Sakurai answers the call of "The Kansas City Bandit" Jason High.
DREAM Announces Fernandes-Takaya Title Fight For Dynamite!! 2010
The first fight was officially announced for DREAM Dynamite!! 2010 on December 31 today, and apparently DREAM Featherweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes got paid because he's set to defend the title against Hiroyuki Takaya. Earlier this year at DREAM.13, he made his first successful title defense and narrowly edged former champ Joachim Hansen. However, he's been on the sidelines since then due to alleged issues with DREAM officials paying him. Takaya gets a second shot at Fernandes and the title here, after losing to Fernandes he then was TKO'd by Michihiro Omigawa but then TKO'd Joachim Hansen & Chase Beebe, both in the first round.
DREAM, Sengoku To Run Separate Year-End Events This Year
DREAM and World Victory Road's Sengoku promotion again will offer year-end fights. They just won't team up for one single event. Officials from both Japanese promotions recently revealed tentative plans for the shows with "World Victory Road Presents: Soul of Fight" on Dec. 30 and "DREAM Dynamite!! 2010" taking place Dec. 31. DREAM's takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The show likely will air live on HDNet. Meanwhile, WVR's show takes place at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. It's likely to air on HDNet, possibly on delay. No fights have been announced, but in addition to MMA fights, officials have hinted at possible kickboxing and grappling matches on the all-day card. DREAM hasn't announced anything for their event yet, but Melvin Manhoef participation is expected according to the It's Showtime promotion.
Cavalcante: No Pay, No DREAM
The story of fighters not being paid in mixed martial arts is a much too frequent storyline. As popular as the sport has become, major organizations across the globe are facing financial troubles. Latest case in point: Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante says he has not been paid for his DREAM 15 fight against Katsunori Kikuno and won't fight for them again until he is. “I’m not saying I’m done with them, but I’m not going to fight until they pay me and try to come out with something and try to explain because they don’t even answer my manager. My manager called them and they don’t even answer,” added Cavalcante. “They did not come out with an explanation. I feel disrespected from them. I’m not looking to fight for them for a while.” The Brazilian enjoyed competing in Japan and describes the situation as “sad.” “It’s sad because Dream is a nice event. The event in Japan, it’s cool. It’s an honor with the history, the samurai spirit and everything. It’s a good show also. I would like to fight for both especially because I have my crowd over there,” stated Cavalcante. “I would like to keep fighting back and forth, but unfortunately it’s not going good.” Cavalcanted explained the difference in timely pay of fighting in Japan compared to competing for U.S. based promotions. “In Japan, they usually pay within one month. After the show they have one month to pay. That’s in the contract,” explained the two-time K-1 Grand Prix titleholder. In Strikeforce, they pay you right after the event because the boxing commissions, they ask you for the checks and everything to be paid to the commission that they pass to the fighters right after the fight. So I already have my check from the fight (with Josh Thomson last week), which is really good. You fought, you want to have your money,” said Cavalcante.
Ralek Gracie Says Dream Still Hasn't Paid Him For Fight in May
You can add Ralek Gracie's name to the growing list of fighters who are upset with Japan's Dream organization, and his complaint against his former employers is all too familiar.
Gracie (3-0) told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on Monday afternoon's edition of "The MMA Hour" that the FEG-backed promotion has not paid him a single penny of what he's owed for his win over Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba at Dream.14 on May 29. And after waiting patiently for more than four months for the check to arrive, Gracie is through keeping quiet about it.
Japanese MMA Still in Trouble, DREAM.16 Ratings Down
FEG was able to come to terms with WVR and acquire Satoshi Ishii for a fight at DREAM.16. The problem? The fight was announced within days of the event, allowing FEG and TBS to do minimal promotion for the event. This all led to what turned out to be less-than-stellar ratings for DREAM 16, withIkuhisa Minowa vs. Satoshi Ishii as a strong draw in the press, but only Ishii's second bout on Japanese soil and Ishii doing very little press since the loss in December.
The final ratings for the event were 11.9%, almost a full point decline from their last primetime event, DREAM.11. With FEG in dire straights, one has to wonder how this looks to investment bank PUJI as well as what this means for the TBS/FEG relationship.
Mayhem’ Submits Sakuraba at Dream 16
Jason “Mayhem” Miller lived up to his vow, as he became the first man in more than 14 years to submit Japanese icon Kazushi Sakuraba at Dream 16 on Saturday at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan. Sakuraba -- who had not asked out of a fight since a July 1996 encounter with Kimo Leopoldo -- met his demise inside an arm-triangle choke 2:09 into round one, the crowd looking on in stunned silence.
Thompson-Kawaguchi Added To DREAM.16
James Thompson's trip to Japan turned out not to be pointless. Less than 24 hours from fight time Japan's premier super-heavyweight, DEEP Megaton Champion Yusuke Kawaguchi has stepped up to face the former debt collector.
Fighters on weight for DREAM.16, Thompson vs. Kawaguchi added to lineup
The full weigh-in results and reverse bout order include:
Champ Gegard Mousasi (205) vs. Tatsuya Mizuno (203.9)
Jason "Mayhem" Miller (184.9) vs. Kazushi Sakuraba (182.6)
Shinya Aoki (153.7) vs. Marcus Aurelio (153.7)
Satoshi Ishii (235.9) vs. Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa (194)
Chase Beebe (141.1) vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (141.1)
Cole Escovedo (143.4) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (143.4)
Joachim Hansen (138.9) vs. Hideo Tokoro (138.9)
Takeshi Inoue (143.4) vs. Kazuyuki Miyata (143.4)
Mitsuhiro Ishida (143.4) vs. Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura (142.9)
Yusuke Kawaguchi (253.5) vs. James Thompson (291)