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DREAM Super Hulk Tournament Preview; Freak Show Fans Unite!

Freak shows. Any fan of the sport that was around to witness Gerard Gordeau send Teila Tuli’s tooth rocketing out of his head at the very first UFC, or Keith Hackney trying to take Emmanuel Yarborough‘s life at UFC 3 knows exactly what I’m talking about. Hate them or love them, I just happen to love them. Call me a sadist, call me old school, I’m a big fan of the freak fights from way back.

Speaking of freak show’s, the DREAM promotion has a whole bunch of good ones going down early tomorrow morning United States time at their ninth event set to take place at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.

Jose Canseco is scheduled to face off with Hong Man Choi at the event……. nuff said. Let’s dive right into what should be an extremely intersting and eventful night of unlikely match-ups in the land of the rising sun.

Jose Canseco vs. Hong Man Choi

Lets take a look at some of Canseco’s numbers going into this “fight” with Hong Man. The “Bash Brother” put together a whopping 462 homeruns and maintained a respectable batting average of .266 during his professional career. Let’s keep it real folks, I’m really not so sure how good of a chance Jose would have against the Korean giant in a “for real” fight if the former major league slugger was permitted to keep his trusty Louisville Slugger with him in a special rules match. Considering the ridiculousness of this match-up, a special rules match of that sort taking place in Japan may not be that far down the horizon. Bottom line, the enormous K-1 giant is a far cry from Danny Bonaduce. You have to give the former World Series Champion credit though, most never expected for him to show up in Japan.

I’m going to use a little real estate here to plead with Hong Man and the matchmakers at K-1 to please stop allowing the 7-2″, 330 pound Choi to beat the crap out of poor Akebono. After knocking the Sumo legend senseless in the first round under the K-1 banner not once but twice in 2005, the promotion saw it fit that he lay some physical punishment on Akebono with the same result one more time in 2006. Stop the insanity!

Sure, Choi is 1-2 in his MMA career , but his two losses were to Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. I can respect that. This match-up with Canseco will be a breath of fresh air for Choi.

We shouldn’t forget that outside of his bully beatdowns of Akebono, Choi holds K-1 victories over the likes of Gary Goodridge, Mighty Mo, and Semmy Schilt. He’s going to tear Canseco’s head off of his neck and high kick it into the cheap seats at the Yokohama Arena.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt

At first glance there are going to be many that think that Hunt is going to have a decided weight advantage over Mousasi, which he will, I’m just not so sure how decisive that weight advantage will be and how much it’s going to matter against a mixed martial artist as talented and well rounded as Mousasi.

It’s a heavyweight fight and Mousasi will be coming in as a heavyweight, I can guarantee that. In his recent first round battering of the highly favored K-1 veteran Musashi in a kickboxing match that took place on New Years Eve of 2008, Mousasi weighed in at 216 pounds and he wore it well. Expect for him to weigh in around the 220-230 pound mark for this one.

Hunt has dropped his last four straight mixed martial arts bouts which could never be viewed as a good omen going into a fight. The scariest statistic is the fact that he has been submitted in three of those defeats, something Mousasi is plenty capable of pulling off. In Hunt’s most recent bout with Melvin Manhoef he was knocked flat by a series of punches in the opening moments of the bout, something that, while not the most likely scenario, Mousasi is also fully capable of pulling out of his hat of tricks.

Bottom line, Mousasi is ten times the mixed martial artist that Hunt is and it’s going to show early on in this fight. Mousasi takes this one, you can bet on it. He is by far one of the most highly skilled and little talked about fighters in the business but an arrival in the U.S. would turn that around in a hurry.

Bob Sapp vs. Ikuhisa Minowa

How do you even call a fight like this. Minowa will be giving away roughly 150 pounds to the gargantuan Sapp. Who’s the better all around fighter? Minowa without a doubt, but I’ll say it again, “The Punk” will be giving away about 150 pounds to Sapp.

One of two things are most likely to happen in this bout. Either Sapp runs across the ring in typical fashion and murderizes Minowa with a hard punch or two, or Minowa throws his body at one of the giant’s limbs and twists on it until “The Beast” cries out in pain.

I think the latter of the two scenarios is the most likely result but who really knows in a freak show like this one. My only concern is that Minowa doesn’t twist too hard as there are a whole bunch of people that are guiltily looking forward to Sapp’s upcoming clash with Bobby Lashley.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Jan Nortje

Nortje’s professional record of 2-5 is anything but impressive, but 100 or more pounds is one heck of a size differential to overcome no matter who you are.

If these two guys were near the same size the edge would have to go to Sokoudjou, who is the more technical striker with the better ground game. They’re not the same size though, not by any means.

Nortje, being a kickboxer, will most likely try to utilize his reach and size advantage on the feet while gunning for the knockout while Sokoudjou, well, I don’t know what his game plan is going to be coming into this one. What would you do if you were facing someone more that 100 pounds larger than you? I’d swing for the fences and hope for the best, we’ll see what the “African Assassin” has up his sleeve early tomorrow morning.

Also scheduled for the card is a rematch between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Jason “Mayhem” Miller for the DREAM middleweight strap, Kid Yamamoto returns to action in the featherweight grand prix and top lightweights Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante and Tatsuya Kawajiri duke it out to determine who the 155 pound alpha-male truly is.

For any of you crazy diehards such as myself, be sure to set your alarm clocks for 5 am ET this morning as HDNet will be broadcasting the event live from Japan.

A full list of the bouts scheduled for Dream 9 are listed below:

Dream Featherweight Grand Prix

Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren

Hideo Tokoro vs. Abel Cullum

Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hiroyuki Takaya

Masakazu Imanari vs. Bibiano Fernandes

Dream Middleweight Championship

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller

Non-Tournament Bout

Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri

Dream Super Hulk Tournament

Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt

Bob Sapp vs. Ikuhisa Minowa

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Jan Nortje

Hong Man Choi vs. Jose Canseco

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