WAMMA lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will be taking on Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in the main event of Dream.8, which is scheduled to take place on April 5 in Japan.
MMAJunkie.com has released the full lineup for the show, which will feature a rematch between the two Japanese icons as well as four first round bouts from the welterweight Grand Prix. Additionally, there will also be a final first round bout of the featherweight Grand Prix.
Aoki, who normally fights as a lightweight, will be looking for his fourth win in a row and some redemption when he faces Sakurai who won their first fight via unanimous decision in 2005.
Aoki captured the WAMMA lightweight title when he defeated Eddie Alvarez at a K-1 “Dynamite!!” show on New Year’s Eve. Aoki is 20-3 in his career and up until a loss to Joachim Hansen in the DREAM lightweight Grand Prix finals was on a 12-fight win streak.
Sakurai will be looking for his 3rd win in a row as he was also successful on the New Year’s Eve show when he defeated Katsuyori Shibata via first round TKO. The Japanese veteran has been fighting since 1996 and has defeated the likes of Caol Uno, Frank Trigg, Jens Pulver and Hansen, the winner of DREAM’s lightweight Grand Prix.
Overall, Sakurai is 34-8 while fighting for PRIDE, DEEP, Shooto, DREAM and several other organizations.
The show will air via tape delay April 10 on HDNet and will also feature the return of Murilo “Ninja” Rua. Rua hasn’t fought since losing to Benji Radach at EliteXC’s final event “Heat” back in October of last year. He will take on Yoon Dong Sik.
Jeff Monson will be also taking on Sergei Kharitonov in a heavyweight bout. The fight will be Monson’s second in as many weeks as he defeated Roy Nelson at “March Badness” on March 21. Kharitonov was last seen defeating Jimmy Ambriz on Dream.6 in September of 2008. He will be looking for his fourth win in a row.
Here are the fights scheduled for the card:
- Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai*
- Jason High vs. Yuya Shirai*
- Seichi Ikemoto vs. Marius Zaromskis*
- John Alessio vs. Andre Galvao*
- Daiki “DJ.taiki” Hata vs. Hideo Tokoro
- Sergei Kharitonov vs. Jeff Monson
- Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs. Yoon Dong Sik
- Katsuhiko Nagata vs. Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro
- Andrews Nakahara vs. Shungo Oyama
- Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Starred bouts denote that fight is part of the welterweight Grand Prix. Hata vs. Tokoro is the final bout of the first round of the featherweight Grand Prix.