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DREAM 17 closer to finalization with announcement of Grand Prix pairings

The first leg of one fighter’s journey towards being crowned DREAM’s next bantamweight champion starts on September 24 when eight 135ers from around the world meet in Japan at DREAM 17.

The promotion officially announced the event’s quarterfinal round earlier today including a field featuring two potential frontrunner’s facing off in the form of WEC/UFC veteran Antonio Banuelos against recent tournament-winner Hideo Tokoro.

Other match-ups set for Saitama Super Arena include leg-loving submission specialist Masakazu Imanari taking on 24-year old finisher Abel Cullum, as well as former 145-pound champ Bibiano Fernandes dropping down a division to face Takafumi Otsuka in a slightly altered rematch of their Featherweight Grand Prix opening round fight from 2009.

Two talented greenhorns will also make their DREAM debuts at the show with undefeated Yusup Saadulaev in action against 12-1 Brazilian Rodolfo Marques Diniz.

The four bantamweight fights bring the total number of announced bouts to eight with previously revealed pairings like Shinya Aoki vs. Rob McCullough, Takeshi Inoue vs. Caol Uno, and Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Joachim Hansen.


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