DREAM 14 To Air Live On HDNet
Get ready for some Saturday morning MMA to get you ready for UFC 114. This month's DREAM event will air live in North America on HDNet. DREAM.14, which takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, airs live in the early-morning hours of May 29 at 3 a.m. ET (midnight PT). The show marks DREAM's return of a cage (rather than a roped ring) that the promotion first debuted in 2009.
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Federico "Kiko" Lopez set for DREAM.14
A bout between hard-hitting Japanese veteran Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (17-3 MMA, 1-2 DREAM) and Team Quest bantamweight Federico "Kiko" Lopez (4-2 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) is set for DREAM.14.
Executives from the Japanese-based organization formerly announced Yamamoto's participation and today officially confirmed his opponent.
DREAM.14 takes place May 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and airs on HDNet.
Manager Shu Hirata Criticizes Shinya Aoki, Talks State of Japanese MMA
Shu Hirata is the manager for some of Japan's most successful MMA fighters. Takeya Mizugaki, Yoshiyuki Yoshida and many more Japanese fighters fight under Hirata's management. But since the demise of PRIDE FC in 2007, many have begun to question the level of Japanese MMA and Japanese fighters.
It is Hirata's job to bring Japanese fighters to the West and to help them be successful. He is better at his job than anyone else. In this MMAFighting.com exclusive interview, Hirata sheds light on the problems with Japanese MMA, the failure of Shinya Aoki and the future of the sport in Japan.
Is American wrestling stalling the progress of Mixed Martial Arts?
"Is American wrestling stalling the progress of Mixed Martial Arts? Some fans think so, and after some recent matches in particular, arguments are rife that wrestlers are killing the aesthetics of the sport.
Every MMA fan, commentator and reporter has found themselves in a discussion as to who are the best fighters to watch, which is different from a discussion about who are the best fighters period. Being one of the best fighters to watch does not necessarily equate to being one of the best fighters in terms of winning accomplishments."
2 More Fights Added To DREAM 14 Card
FEG today announced 2 more fights for DREAM 14, and it appears the "Gracie Hunter" is back on the prowl. In one of the fights, Kazushi Sakuraba will face a Gracie for the 6th time in his career, this time he'll face Ralek Gracie in a catch weight fight at 88 kg (194 pounds) and a matchup of former WEC fighters was also added in Yoshiro Maeda vs. Kenji Osawa. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto participation was also confirmed, his fight could be announced in the next day or two as part of 2-3 more fights to round out the card.
DREAM 14 Still On, But LHW Tourney To Be Restructured (Updated)
Japanese fight fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Reports surfaced earlier today that a portion of the DREAM 14 fight card was being removed, specifically the planned light heavyweight tournament featuring Gegard Mousasi, Renato Sobral, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, among others, leading to speculation that the entire May 29 card was in jeopardy. No worries. Representatives from Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) today told MMAmania.com that DREAM 14 will continue as planned and that the promotion has opted to change the structure of the light heavyweight tournament going forward. An official announcement can be expected in the near future as well as some "surprises" for the still-developing fight card. The report of the cancellation appeared to come via Josh Gross on Twitter-he claimed the LHW GP was cancelled due to issues between DREAM and TV partner TBS.
UPDATE: The tournament is now off. TBS nixed the idea of airing it in Japan. The event is still on though.
DREAM 14 To Be Held In A Cage
At an impromptu "urgent" press conference in Japan today, it was announced that the upcoming DREAM 14 event will be held in a cage and not the ring normally used in the promotion. Apparently the change was made after Hayato Sakurai requested his fight with Nick Diaz be in a cage and not a ring and other fighters agreed to it. Right now the change appears to be only for DREAM 14.
3 Fights Added To DREAM 14
Three Featherweight fights were added to the May 29th DREAM 14 card today. Hiroyuki Takaya will take on Joachim Hansen, Kazuyuki Miyata will fight DEEP Featherweight champion Takafumi Otsuka in a non-title match, and Hideo Tokoro will face Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura. Takaya-Hansen could determine the next challenger for DREAM Featherweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes, which could possibly mean a Fernandes-Hansen rematch.
Nick Diaz vs. Hayato Sakurai Set For DREAM 15
Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz is set to head for Japan to face Japanese star Hayato Sakurai in a Welterweight matchup at DREAM 15, likely to be scheduled for May 30. Strikeforce has cleared the booking and allowed Diaz to take the fight, which will be a NON-TITLE match.
Shinya Aoki: It Is Certain That If I Lose, Japan Will Become A Colony Of US MMA
That's one way he's looking at his 4/17 Strikeforce fight against Gilbert Melendez. "Japan’s best comes to USA. This is amazing ... my technical side is evidenced by my long career. It is the same as my old fights so it does not need to be discussed. Instead, the most important point is this: ‘If Aoki loses, it is over for Japan. I love Japan and it is certain that if I lose, Japan will become a colony of US MMA. Some [fans] say that USA's MMA is the best but I do not worship U.S. MMA so this is big war to me, just like my fight against [Sengoku champion] Hirota [on New Year’s Eve]. Yes, this is a high risk, high return proposition. If I get the return, I give it to DREAM because I am a son of DREAM. The same as in the New Year's Eve fight I am thinking ‘OK, I kill you!' ... I can risk my life if needs be. I am a warrior.... I am really serious about MMA. So I do not talk about technique now, because this fight is not about technique but about instinct and heart! One tough guy will stand, another tough guy will fall. Everyone, look upon this scene."
DREAM Targets Aoki-Kawajiri For DREAM 16
Shinya Aoki won't have to go for long without the stretchy pants. His long-rumored matchup with Tatsuya Kawajiri appears to be in the works for DREAM 16, which probably will be in July but will be determined when Japanese TV partner TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) finalizes its summer schedule. No word yet on if the fight would be for Aoki's DREAM Lightweight Championship.
April DREAM Event In Korea Off
According to a Korean MMA website, a scheduled 4/24 DREAM event in South Korea is now off. The reason for the cancel seems to be some star fighters not being available in April (Hong Man Choi and Denis Kang) which in turn led to the DREAM officials not being able to secure a deal for broadcast on Korean TV, this despite expected participation of other notable Korean fighters like Dong Sik Yoon & Bu-Kyung Jung. No word on any future date for an event in South Korea for DREAM or if it will even happen.
Christian M'Pumbu Added To DREAM LHW Tournament
French veteran Christian M'Pumbu has signed a multi-fight deal with DREAM and is expected to be part of the upcoming Light Heavyweight Tournament starting in May. M'Pumbu is 15-2-1 career and is currently competing in a tournament in the DEEP promotion to determine that promotion's inaugural Light Heavyweight Champion.
Japanese star Shinya Aoki says UFC won't succeed in Japan
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki widely is considered a torchbearer for MMA in Japan. And he's very protective of its landscape, particularly when it comes to the interests of stateside promoters.
UFC president Dana White repeatedly has said he's interested in returning to Japan for the first time since Zuffa, LLC purchased the promotion in 2001. But he blames "dirty, sneaky, bad guys" from keeping the promotion out of the country.
Marius Zaromskis Eyes DREAM Return In May
Although there are few details at this time, DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis appears set to return to the promotion on May 30 at the curently unannounced DREAM 15. No opponent has been named and it's not known if he'll defend his title. There originally were reports he would defend against Kiyoshi Tamura on 3/22 but those plans fell through after Zaromskis was TKO'd by Nick Diaz in January.
Renato Sobral Signs With DREAM
For the first time in nearly 9 years, Renato Sobral is Japan-bound. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and UFC contender has signed a multi-fight contract with DREAM and will participate in the promotion's upcoming light heavyweight tournament, which is set to begin May 30 at DREAM.15. Sobral apparently is still under contract to Strikeforce but the promotion gave him the OK to sign the DREAM contract and he'll probably return to SF later this year. Sobral last fought in Japan in summer 2001, when he lost in RINGS to Fedor.
Ryo Chonan Ready for DREAM Debut
Ryo Chonan makes his return to the Japanese big show when he takes on Andrews Nakahara at DREAM.13 on March 22 in Yokohama, Japan.
Before the longtime PRIDE veteran makes his DREAM debut, MMA Fighting caught up with Chonan to talk about his experience in the UFC and bringing his career back to Japan.
Mighty Mo signs to fight Josh Barnett at Dream 13
Dream continues to remain at the top of the Japanese mixed martial arts since, recently announcing the signing of top heavyweight Josh Barnett. A longtime favorite for the defunct Pride organization, now Barnett has an opponent for his March 12 promotional debut.
Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga, a prominent K-1 fighter with a 3-1 record in MMA, has signed to face Barnett at Dream 13, according to his manager, Steve Rusich of Triple Crown Fighters. Sports Illustrated’s Josh Gross tweeted the probable match-up earlier this week.