The dearth of awesome fan-made promos does not bode well for DREAM. VidProps: DREAM
DREAM returns for the final round of the Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix on July 16, and there are a few interesting matchups on the card (which is apparently *not* DREAM.17 as we’d been thinking). Even if there weren’t, it’s smack in the middle of the summer MMA doldrums, and there’s not much else going on. Even if there were something else going on, jesus, don’t you assholes care about Japan?
Gegard Mousasi v. Hiroshi Izumi
Curious matchmaking here for the DREAM light heavyweight crown. Izumi is an impressive judoka, but still a relative neophyte at MMA with two years of experience and five fights. Then again, maybe he feels like he has a gameplan that would work on Mousasi. We still got the champ in this one, though.
Hiroyuki Takaya vs Kazuyuki Miyata
DREAM featherweight champ Takaya suffered an upset decision loss to some guy at Strikeforce: Diaz vs Daley, and now defends his title against “Little Hercules” Miyata. We could see the title changing hands here, since Miyata could easily follow the game plan to plant Takaya and grind out a win. Then again, Takaya won’t be traveling through ten time zones to compete, either. If Miyata hits the german suplex a few times, we’ll call it a win.
This is it: the raison d’etre of the show. (i like to sneak foreign words into my writing, because it drives the ladies wild. Right, female CP readers??) Imanari outpointed Keisuke Fujiwara (what, no leg lock?) and heel hooked Kenji Osawa (that’s more like it) to make it to the finals, while Tokoro went through Yoshiro Maeda (corner stoppage due to testicular destruction) and Atsushi Yamamoto (decision) to join him. If you want to bet a few yen, we recommend Imanari for some ligament-damaging, wallet-swelling action.
Keisuke Fujiwara vs Kenji Osawa (World Bantamweight Grand Prix qualifier)
A couple of the also-rans in the Japan Grand Prix fight for a chance to go on and represent Nippon in the World Grand Prix, at least in theory. We’re not saying that the World GP won’t go down, we’re just saying that DREAM.17 hasn’t even been roughed out yet. Baby steps. Fujiwara steps in to replace Atsushi Yamamoto, who is believed to have suffered a detached retina.
“Crusher” Kawajiri was expecting Shooto/UFC vet Willamy Freire, but a case of the Brazilian Hand Flu had Freire pulling out of the bout. Kawajiri will now face everywhere-vet Drew Fickett, who comes in fresh off a loss to Brian Cobb in MFC last month.
Todd Duffee vs Nick Gaston (Giant Gaijin Feature Bout)
What do the Japanese love more than watching a huge westerner fight? Watching TWO huge westerners fight! On the real, though, this should be a good chance to gauge “Afrozilla” Gaston’s progress as a fighter. We think Gaston will pull off a minor upset here, and it may well get him an invite to bigger show stateside.
Tatsuya Mizuno vs Trevor Prangley
Mizuno was once a bright prospect, but he keeps taking matches with men who are much larger than he is, and it’s not helping his 8-7 record. Meeting him will be Trevor Prangley, who looks to get back in the win column after getting choked out by Roger Gracie under the Strikeforce banner.
If you read that and thought to yourself, “Hey Self, didn’t these two guys fight already?” you would be correct. Zaromskis scored a career highlight finish when these two met in the DREAM welterweight GP, kicking Mach in the skull so hard that it set off a landslide on the continental shelf off the coast of Japan. Zaromskis still has the belt, but the bout reportedly won’t be for the title, possibly because Sakurai hasn’t won since Zaromskis rattled his braincase for him two years ago.
Share your predictions, intuition, and speculation in the comments, and we’ll try to act interested. We’re really just thinking about duck vaginas, though.