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Aoki, Sakurai Booked for DREAM Welterweight GP

(You call that a fighter’s fist pose, Sakurai? Show me some goddamned intensity! Photo courtesy of via Suki MMA.)

Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) — the parent company of Japanese MMA promotion DREAMannounced today that their upcoming welterweight grand prix will feature #9 pound-for-pounder Shinya Aoki, moving back up in weight class from last year’s lightweight GP, in which he was a finalist. Perennial welterweight threat/amateur porn star Hayato "Mach" Sakurai will also participate in the 168-pound tournament (which kicks off April 5th in Nagoya, Japan), and freak show mainstay Ikuhisa Minowa will be on the card in a non-GP match. No other fighters have been named for the grand prix, though the winner of the DEEP 40 bout between Hidetaka Monma and Seichi Ikemoto is expected to join the field.

No word yet if Aoki and Sakurai will have to face each other in the first round of the grand prix, but the two fighters previously met at a Shooto event in August 2005, where the far-more-experienced (at the time) Sakurai defeated Aoki by unanimous decision. Aoki went on to win Shooto’s middleweight (168 pounds) championship the next year — which he still technically holds — before dropping to lightweight in 2007. Both men have won their last two fights, with Sakurai winning a decision against Kuniyoshi Hironaka at DREAM 6 last September and scoring a TKO over Katsuyori Shibata at Dynamite!! 2008 on New Year’s Eve, and Aoki earning quick submission victories over Todd Moore and Eddie Alvarez at the same events.

Cagepotato Comments

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KTFO- February 18, 2009 at 9:07 pm
In reference to the photo: I don't think the pictured subjects are trying to make a fighter's pose, if I'm not mistaken that's a shot of a three way tie for the Japanese rock paper scissors championship.
Tyler- February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm
Also I agree with Logan about Edith's Tits and I don't care if they're fake.
Tyler- February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm
Like Yours?
BM2- February 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Why are the comments on Cage Potato so retarded?

(also, WAR MONMA)
Anonymous- February 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm
Mach Sakurai has a 10 inch dork!
Anonymous- February 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm
@Old,Bald and Irish
"The guy on the right of that photo looks like he get's his hair cut at the Anime barbershop!"
You don't know who the fuck Ikuhisa "the punk" Minowa is you fucking MMA novice?
Go watch some shit not seen on Spike TV before your dumb ass tries to post some stupid shit on a mma website moron!
Criminally Negligent - February 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm
Aoki is one of my favorite fighters... i just wish they wouldn't let him take the microphone anymore
TheRandomKnowledgableGuy- February 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm
Minowa is the shiiiiieeeeet... he isnt all that great but the rolling shots and the dropkicks are awesome.
skidding- February 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm
I get my haircut at the anime barber shop... don't hate us because of our full thick mop on our heads.
ryguyflyguy- February 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm
IF Aoki thinks he can do the oaky pokey then he can suck my FURRY somewhat vieny, cancer filled testies! meowmix nigga
Anonymous- February 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm
I wonder what the pay rate is in Japan vs Affliction. I know the fighters in the UFC make dog shiet, but I bet Japan is higher pay than Affliction...
Perdew- February 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm
i can't wait to see Aoki butt scoot across the ring, sub his opponent easily and then challenge bj penn again.
Dr. Gonzo- February 12, 2009 at 1:56 pm
If Mach is going to face Aoki, he might want to spend some more time with his Yoga instructor...which is fine by him!!
aj- February 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm
Sakurai better fear the Aoki butt scoot rush... Eddie Alvarez did.
Old, Bald and Irish- February 12, 2009 at 1:46 pm
The guy on the right of that photo looks like he gets his hair cut at the Anime Barbershop!
Anonymous- February 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm
beforeskin- February 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm
aoki's gonna submit him. rd 1
mma-pro- February 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm
id like to see aoki get knocked out again. his butt scoot gaurd pull was pussy-like
CanadianProduce- February 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm
I am not convinced by Aoki just yet....
Your Fucking Father- February 12, 2009 at 1:27 pm
Fuck All You "First" Bitches. I love ruining that for all you assholes.
CanProduce- February 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm
I am DREAMing of other things than these fights....