With a replacement unable to be found for the injured Shinya Aoki, DREAM officials have decided to allow Aoki to remain in their lightweight tournament, with his quarterfinal bout against Katsuhiko Nagata pushed from DREAM.3 (May 11th) to DREAM.4 (June 15th). Interestingly — and I only use the word “interestingly” because “bullshiteously” isn’t a word — Aoki’s doctor claims that the injury Aoki sustained against Calvancante on April 29th was a severely bruised rib, and not anything to do with his face, as was initially
fabricated reported. Also, the doc says that during the Aoki/Calvancante re-match, Shinya was still recovering from a cervical injury he received during his first fight with JZ on March 15th, which impaired the feeling in his right arm. And cervical injuries are no joke, people; ask all my ex-girlfriends.
Anyway, this is great news for the lightweight GP’s credibility, although the newly-staggered nature of Aoki’s bracket will sap a little bit of the tournament’s drama. DREAM.4 will also feature Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s match against (possibly) Jerome LeBanner, as well as the second round of its Middleweight Grand Prix.
In other news from the Far East, Yuki Kondo has been booked to fight Roger Gracie at Sengoku II (May 18th; Tokyo, Japan), which is also slated to feature fights between Josh Barnett and Jeff Monson, and Kevin Randleman vs. Ryo Kawamura. Kondo has competed mainly as a light-heavyweight in Pancrase, the UFC, and PRIDE, and holds notable victories over Mario Sperry, Semmy Schilt, Ikuhisa Minowa, and Frank Shamrock. The 6’4″ Roger Gracie competed at heavyweight in his MMA debut, a first-round submission win over Ron Waterman in December 2006. Nightmare of Battle is reporting this one as an “open weight” bout, which would make it similar to Randleman’s match, in which the 205-pound vet is taking on a natural middleweight in Kawamura. It sounds like Sengoku could a use a little assistance in its fight-booking department — or, they’re more interested in spectacles than legitimate competition. Either way, it strikes us as kinda bullshiteous…