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Imanari, Cullum, Ishida, and Kawajiri all victorious at DREAM.7

Last night at the Saitama Super Arena Dream kicked off the beginning of its Featherweight Grand Prix at Dream.7.

The first bout of the Grand Prix pitted Takafumi Otsuka (8-3-1) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (3-2-0). with Fernandes winning via unanimous decision.

WEC featherweight champion Chase Beebe (12-3-0) then took on Joe Warren, who was making his MMA debut. The fight was stopped after the first round due to a cut Beebe had sustained over his left eye after taking a knee from Warren.

“Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura (9-3-1) vs. Abel Cullum (13-2-0) was the third fight of the Grand Prix. Cullum won a unanimous decision to move on to the next round.

Moving on to a battle in the lightweight division, Mitsuhiro Ishida (17-4-1) took on Daisuke Nakamura (19-9-0). Ishida defeated Nakamura via unanimous decision.

Reigning WAMMA lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (19-3-0) was up next vs. American David Gardner (16-10-0). Aoki simply dominated Gardner and ended it in the first round via rear naked choke.

In another lightweight match-up Ross Ebanez (19-6-0) took on Tatsuya Kawajiri (22-5-2). Ebanez was given a yellow card due to his inability to make weight. It was a moot issue as Kawajiri secured a fight ending rear naked choke in the first round. After the bout, Kawajiri called out Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante for Dream 9.

The card then resumed with Grand Prix bouts with WEC veterans Yoshiro Maeda (23-6-2) and Micah Miller (10-2-0) going head-to-head. Maeda was awarded the unanimous decision over the American Miller.

Another former WEC veteran in Hiroyuki Takaya (9-6-1) took to the sage against Kim Jong Won in another Grand Prix fight. Distancing himself from his disappointing WEC tenure, Takaya won via second round TKO.

In the main event and the last first round fight of the Grand Prix, former Cage Rage champion Masakazu Imanari (15-6-1) took on Atsushi Yamamoto. Imanari moved on to the second round with a split decision victory.

Official Results:

  • Masakazu Iminari def. Atsushi Yamamoto via split decision
  • Hiroyuki Takaya def. Jong Won Kim via TKO (punches) — Round 2, 0:40
  • Yoshiro Maeda def. Micah Miller via unanimous decision
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Ross Ebanez via submission (rear-naked shoke) — Round 1, 4:03
  • Shinya Aoki def. David Gardner via rear-naked choke — Round 1, 5:58
  • Mitsuhiro Ishida def. Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision
  • Abel Cullum def. Akiyo Nishiura via unanimous decision
  • Joe Warren def. Chase Beebe via TKO (cut) — Round 1, 10:00
  • Bibiano Fernandes def. Takafumi Otsuka via unanimous decision

Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto was given a bye and will compete in the featherweight Grand Prix at Dream.8 and another first round bout between Hideo Tokoro vs. Daika Hata will take place at the same event.

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