DREAM.5 is in the books. I didn’t get to see the entire event, but from what I did see, I was pretty impressed. Really good action. HDNet was also live at the venue in Osaka and the broadcast was strong. It really makes a huge difference being there in person as opposed to commentating in a studio. Here are the full results from today’s event:
— Daisuke Nakamura submits Andy Ologun with an armbar at 3:41 of Rd 1
— Lightweight GP Semifinal: Shinya Aoki via Unanimous Decision over Caol Uno
— Lightweight GP Semifinal: Eddie Alvarez TKO’s (strikes) Tatsuya Kawajiri at 7:35 of Rd 1. This was a really strong fight. Alvarez dropped Kawajiri with a right cross and thought he had won via knockout. The fight was not called so after raising his arms in victory, Alvarez jumped on a downed Kawajiri and hit him until the ref finally called a halt. The problem was, that earlier in the fight Alvarez caught a punch from Kawajiri that grazed him. Towards the end of the punch, Alvarez caught a grazing elbow. There was a minor cut and severe swelling to Alvarez’s right eye. DREAM doctors decided later in the show that he could not continue.
— Lightweight GP Tournament Reserve Match: Joachim Hansen submits Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill with an armbar at 2:42 of Rd 1. Hansen advanced to the tournament final after DREAM’s doctors would not allow Alvarez to continue. The doctors made the right call but an emotional Alvarez wanted to continue. Between fights later in the show, he told commentators Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten that he wanted to continue and pleaded with doctors. He stated that since Aoki was a submission specialist and not a puncher, that the eye wouldn’t come into play. During the announcement to the live crowd, Alvarez spoke to the audience and said the injury was unfortunate but that there was nobody he’d rather see take his spot than Hansen. The crowd reacted very strong to Alvarez, who looked like he teared up at one point.
— Joseph Benavidez submits Junya Kudo at 2:42 of Rd 1. Benavidez had been slated to face Kid Yamamoto, who was taken off the card earlier this week with a knee injury. Benavidez is now 8-0. He trains out of Urijah Faber’s gym in Sacramento, Calif. and Faber did an interview with Rice and Rutten between one of the fights. He really believes in Benavidez and considers him one of the top bantamweights in the world. Faber said he feels that getting a win on such a high-profile card in Japan will open up new opportunities for Benavidez. With Yamamoto on the shelf for an extended period of time, might a shot at the WEC be in the cards?
— Kuniyoshi Hironaka TKO’s (cut) Motoki Miyazawa at 8:57 of Rd 1
— Hideo Tokoro defeats Takeshi Yamazaki via Unanimous Decision
— Yoshihiro Akiyama submits Katsuyori Shibata at 6:34 of Rd 1 with a choke. Akiyama was allowed to wear a Gi. I know at one point Gis were legal in PRIDE, but didn’t they change the rule? I also had thought Gis were going to be illegal in DREAM? The announcers were kind of caught off-guard that Akiyama was wearing a Gi as well. They brought up the Sakuraba fight in which it was deemed that Akiyama had too much lubrication on his body. So because of that, he’s allowed to wear the Gi? I bring this up because Akiyama grabbed his own sleeve during the choke on Yamazaki. How many breaks is Akiyama going to get before he has to sink or swim on his own? I also don’t understand the repeated use of Shibata as a sacrificial lamb. Maybe he’ll be a good fighter one day, but he’s very green right now. Why do they keep using him in mis-matches?
— Alistair Overeem submits Mark Hunt with a keylock/shoulder lock in Rd 1. I don’t have the exact time, but it might have been less than a minute. Hunt landed a haymaker and the momentum knocked Overeem to the ground. Hunt followed the fight to the floor and got a little ground and pound in but Overeem had good hip movement and was setting up a submission the whole time. He apparently was on vacation when he got the call to take the fight a week ago. He weighed in at about 235 lbs. while Rice indicated that Hunt had weighed in over 290 lbs. This was a big win for the Strikeforce heavyweight champion.
— Lightweight GP Final: Joachim Hansen TKO’s (strikes) Shinya Aoki in Rd 1.
I don’t have the exact time, but the end came within the first five minutes. Aoki wanted the fight on the ground and pulled guard at one point. He worked the rubber guard and looked like he was close to catching Hansen. However, Hansen got loose and stacked Aoki and then started landing some stiff shots from the top. He hit Aoki with a big punch and Aoki stopped defending himself, forcing the referee to step in and stop it. Alvarez joined Hansen’s corner in the celebration. Prior to the fight, he had also challenged the winner. Hansen vs. Alvarez II for the DREAM lightweight title? Sounds like a plan to me.