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DREAM.15 to Feature Overeem vs. Rodriguez, Mousasi vs. O’Brien


(Ricco Rodriguez: From flab to fab.)

Two months after his beatdown of Brett Rogers at Heavy Artillery, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will return to competition at DREAM.15 (July 10th, Saitama), where he’ll take on former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez in a non-title bout. While that may sound like Alistair is getting back to his Japanese squash-match roots, keep in mind that Rodriguez is on a seven-fight win streak since last July (six of which came by stoppage), including victories over veterans Travis Fulton and Moise Rimbon. He also looks a lot better physically these days (see above), and competed in the 218-pound division at last year’s ADCCs.

Can Rodriguez use Overeem as a springboard to a career rebirth? No, probably not — but he could impress a lot of people just by giving Overeem a tough fight and not spitting on anybody. In a related story, Ricco is no longer listed for that 7/18 Impact FC fight against Jeff Monson, which is unfortunate because you can bet that Paulo Filho and Ken Shamrock will be dropping out at the last minute…


DREAM.15 will be headlined by the long-awaited meeting between lightweight champion Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri, and will also feature a lightweight scrap between former top 10′er Gesias Cavalcante and Katsunori Kikuno. But wait, there’s more: The card will also feature the opening round of a relatively sad four-man light-heavyweight grand prix. The matchups are:

Gegard Mousasi vs. Jake O’Brien
Melvin Manhoef vs. Tatsuya Mizuno

Okay, Mousasi belongs there, obviously. The inclusion of UFC castoff Jake O’Brien isn’t very encouraging, but maybe his wrestling skills can give the former Strikeforce LHW champ trouble in the same way that King Mo’s did. As for the other side of the bracket, Manhoef is a true middleweight whose chin might be breaking down, and Mizuno is a 7-5 journeyman who’s perhaps best known for getting wrecked by Cro Cop at DREAM’s debut show. Quite a field you’ve got there, DREAM. The winner of that GP will definitely be one of the best light-heavyweights…of the night.

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DazedNConfused- June 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm
Other websites have already debunked this. Although it was verbally agreed, Overeem is no rejecting it and says he may never fight in DREAM again. I wonder what happened? Sucks.
teetee- June 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm
What happens to someone like Ricco where they lose all that weight? Do you think he needed surgery to remove excess skin??
Dick_Misanthropenis- June 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm
The state of Japanese MMA these days makes me shed big crocodile tears into my miso soup.

Oh, and Ken Shamrock would beat Ricco Rodriguez so bad he'd turn his abs back into a beer gut.
dumbfucks- June 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm
Oh cagepotato how you fail on flaming.
T_Durden- June 30, 2010 at 11:19 am
Overeem's people are denying this report. I hope they're right. I have no interest in watching this fight.
J-Dog- June 30, 2010 at 11:07 am
Is this the Ricco Rodriguez who was on Celebrity Rehab trying to kick a coke habit? Good to see him on his feet.
joshuan29- June 30, 2010 at 10:53 am
I think maybe "Ubereem" benefited from Brett Rogers having a case of the limber tail from his last fight when his head was seperated from his body. Not to say that Allistair isn't dangerous but Ricco was a dangerous guy too just a few short years ago, and he's on a rather long winning streak. Fuck as last Saturday proves: Anything can happen in MMA
macreadysshack- June 30, 2010 at 8:47 am
I think that's a fun card. I'm super stoked to see that Sassy's getting right back on the horse against a wrestler. I think he may really benefit from some more cage time with somebody who wants to take him down and hold him down. I'm sure he'll have a different game plan than acting like the baddest-assed turtle since Michelangelo. Although, I think he was kinda stuck in that game plan because . . .

Taking nothing (or at least very little) away from King Mo, Sassy didn't look himself at all in that last fight. His striking was sluggish - terrible 'stay outside shooting distance' footwork and his hips were just plain weak (for a guy at his level). I think he made some kind of training error. I know that in the past he's really enjoyed trying new things with training and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't - they'd just never resulted in a loss before that last one. I bet he'll come back 911 X 79846 times stronger. I hope he gets his training down and rematches Mo.

It'll be cool to see Ricco back. Hopefully he's licked that whole 'narcissistic self destructive' thing he had going on. Overeem seems like an awfully large bite for somebody that is obviously on a very strict diet, though.
glassjawsh- June 30, 2010 at 8:37 am
guy looks like a p90x commercial, no matter they are all dust under ubereems hooves...i meant feet
Viva Hate- June 30, 2010 at 8:08 am
I thought you had photo shopped James Toney's belly from the previous article onto Ricco.
joshuan29- June 30, 2010 at 7:58 am
Could be interesting.....Overeem sure does stay busy.
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