(You know, Jason, it would be nice if your junk transitioned to a renewable energy source. Photo courtesy of DreamOfficial.com)
The return of Kid Yamamoto. Light-heavyweights fighting super-heavyweights. Desperate baseball players possibly dying in the ring. Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to see some crazy shit. DREAM.9 kicks off in a few minutes, and if you’re reading this live, God bless you. Round-by-round updates from the HDNet broadcast are after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. If there’s a long stretch of time where there’s no updates, it just means that I’ve fallen asleep. Let’s all hope that doesn’t happen.
Michael "The Voice" Schiavello starts squawking to open the broadcast, calling this a "ridiculously stupendous fight card." The effect is like a hot cup of coffee on the lap. I was really hoping for the more soothing sounds of Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten.
Bob Sapp vs. Ikuhisa Minowa
Bob Sapp enters the arena wearing a floor-length white sparkly coat with mink trim, throwing it off to the crowd’s delight. But they pop even harder for Minowaman.
Round 1: Minowa lands an overhand right after the bell, but Sapp immediately takes down him down and starts working for an armlock from the top. Minowa reverses the position and gets in Sapp’s guard. Minowaman working for the ankle lock, and gets it! LOL @ Sapp! Minowa goes to each side of the ring, pumping his fist at the crowd, who do likewise. They didn’t show the exact time of the stoppage, but Ikuhisa Minowa def. Bob Sapp via achilles lock, early into round 1.
Jose Canseco vs. Hong Man Choi
In Canseco’s intro video, they show a clip from the old Nintendo game Baseball Stars (he was in it) and a picture of Madonna (he banged her). He comes out to "Wild Thing," with a bat rested in his shoulder. His girlfriend Heidi Northcott is by his side, tossing baseballs out to the crowd. No tattoo shirt for Canseco this time, but he is wearing full-length black pants. He looks pretty good for a 45-year-old man who may still be on steroids.
Round 1: Jose lands an an overhand right before dodging out of the way. He sticks the jab and scampers off again. HMC lands a jab and Jose stumbles. Jose lands a side kick, then grabs his knee, limping a bit. Jose lands a leg kick and falls down; HMC starts slugging from the top. Jose starts tapping immediately. Hong Man Choi def. Jose Canseco via submission (strikes), early into round 1. That was just about as sad as I thought it would be. Hope it was worth it, buddy.
Jan Nortje vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Oh, I get it, it’s because they’re both African.
Round 1: Nortje misses a leg kick. Soko lands a body kick and tries for a takedown, but Nortje clinches and presses Soko into the corner. Soko tries a couple judo tosses, but fails. Nortje is just too massive. Nortje with a knee in the clinch, and they’re separated. Soko with a front kick, and a couple body kicks. Hard leg kick from Sokoudjou. Soko tries for the takedown again and gets it. He starts whaling on Nortje from the top until the ref jumps in, but Soko doesn’t stop, raining punches until the ref has to shield Nortje with his body. Nortje’s corner (which includes Ray Sefo) jumps in, and there’s almost a full-on riot in the middle of the ring. Schiavello blasts Soko for his poor sportsmanship. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Jan Nortje via TKO, round 1.
Three up, three down. So far, the smaller guys are winning 2-1.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt
Round 1: Mousasi rushes in with a right and trips Hunt to the mat. Mousasi trying for an armlock from side control. It doesn’t pan out, so he starts working some knees to the body. He tries for the kimura again, and nails it. Holy crap. The Super Hulk Tournament’s first round is already over. Gegard Mousasi def. Mark Hunt via kimura, early into round 1.
And now for the non-freak bouts…
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Gesias "JZ Calvan" Cavalcante
Schiavello repeats his trusty "more muscles than a seafood platter" line in reference to JZ. Kawajiri says a prayer before stepping into the ring.
Round 1: Lek kicks from Kawajiri. JZ with a jab and a right straight. JZ catches a kick and slugs Kawajiri in return. Kawajiri shoots and JZ stuffs, locking on a guillotine choke and pulling guard. It looks deep, but Kawajiri striggles to his feet before JZ pulls him down again. Kawajiri yanks his head out and starts throwing punches from half-guard. JZ establishes full guard, and the ref pulls them to the center of the ring. Kawajiri trying to work the GnP, but JZ does a good job controlling his posture. Kawajiri moves to side control for a moment, then returns to guard. Kawajiri lands a couple shots from the top. JZ kicks Kawajiri off, but Kawajiri drags him down again. Too close to the ropes, the ref puts them in the center of the ring. More ground and pound from Kawajiri. The ref stands them up and gives Kawajiri a yellow card for not trying to finish the fight. Wow, seriously? Body kick and a right straight from JZ. JZ shoots and Kawajiri stuffs and clinches. Kawajiri presses JZ against the corner and throws some knees into JZ’s legs. The ref separates them. Jabs from Kawajiri. Kawajiri lands some power punches. JZ misses a head kick and eats a left hook. Kawajiri shoots and scores the takedown. JZ tries to work some rubber guard, and Kawajiri postures and throws down some punches as the ten-minute first round comes to an end. Kawajiri takes it.
Round 2: Kawajiri with a sharp right hook. Kawajiri shoots, and again JZ grabs a guillotine and falls to the mat with it, but Kawajiri gets out. JZ escapes from the bottom. Kawajiri with some leg kicks, then some heavy right hands before scoring a takedown. Kawajiri gets mount, but they’re hanging out of the ropes. Kawajiri slugs JZ a few times in the face with short punches from the top. JZ "has been on his back more times than my ex-girlfriend" says Schiavello. The fighters are re-set in the center. Kawajiri working for a choke from the top, but loses it. He throws some more short punches from the top as the bell sounds. Easy decision win for Kawajiri. As expected, Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Gesias Cavalcante via unanimous decision.
It’s featherweight GP time.
Hideo Tokoro vs. Abel Cullum
The intro video shows that Tokoro is a former janitor who enjoys baseball. Cullum is a King of the Cage champ who enjoys wearing cowboy hats. Even his walkout music is "Cowboy" by Kid Rock. The crowd gives him zero love.
Round 1: Both guys come out fast, throwing kicks. Leg kick Tokoro, and a right straight, then a jab and a leg kick. Cullum shoots and gets the takedown, but Tokoro quickly escapes. Left hook Cullum. Knee to the body from Tokoro drops Cullum. Tokoro throws some punches from the top before going to the ground and setting up a triangle. Cullum hangs on and escapes, throwing punches and knees into Tokoro’s head. Tokoro escapes and moves to Cullum’s back, but Cullum reverses and gets in Tokoro’s guard. Cullum throws some punches from the top. Tokoro escapes and gets to his feet. Cullum lands some heavy punches and a leg kick. Tokoro lands a left. Both guys throwing bombs. Cullum scores the takedown. Tokoro flips him with a slick omoplata and gets on top. Tokoro lands a big left from above. Cullum goes for the heel-hook and Tokoro bashes him in the head with his free foot. Cullum tries again for the heel hook and loses it. Tokoro gets up, but Cullum is still hanging off his leg. Cullum picks up Tokoro, walks him across the ring and drops him. Cullum in half-guard. He looks for the armbar, loses position, and Tokoro gets on top. He stands up, then dives in with a knee. Cullum gets on top and throws down some punches as the round ends. Hard round to call.
Round 2: Body kick from Tokoro, but Cullum catches it and takes him down. Tokoro reverses and gets mount, but Cullum slips out and Tokoro goes to side control, looking for an armlock. Cullum rolls and Tokoro almost locks in a choke. Cullum stands up and Tokoro sinks the choke, forcing Cullum to tap. Hideo Tokoro def. Abel Cullum via rear-naked choke, round 2.
HDNet gives us a video profile of Joe Warren, who seems like a very confident, slightly imbalanced young man.
Long break here, stay tuned.
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Yoshiro Maeda
Both guys, as you might remember, are WEC castoffs. Before entering the DREAM featherweight tourney, Takaya dropped consecutive fights against Leonard Garcia and Cub Swanson, while Maeda had his classic fight against Miguel Torres last June before getting choked out by Rani Yahya.
Round 1: Leg kick Maeda. Maeda catches a kick from Takaya and takes him down, throwing punches from above before settling into half guard. Maeda drops some knees into Takaya’s body. Takaya gets up and Maeda misses a knee. Maeda lands a head kick but slips. He springs back up. Takaya lands a good right, and another. Maeda falls while throwing another kick, and clinches with Takaya on the way back up. Maeda takes Takaya down. He drops some elbows into Takaya’s thigh. Maeda puts two knees into Takaya’s face as Takaya is jammed against the ring post, but Takaya escapes and they’re back on their feet, trading punches. Takaya lands a left. Maeda shoots and nearly pushes Takaya out of the ring. He falls into mount, with Takaya doing his best to control his arms. The ref stops the action to have a gash on Takaya’s forehead checked and to have Maeda’s frayed glove-tape fixed. They’re placed in the center of the ring, with Maeda in mount. Takaya establishes half guard, then kicks Maeda off. Maeda goes back into Takaya’s guard. The ref stands them up and gives Takaya a yellow card for passivity and holding on the ground. Takaya sticks a nice right, then another that drops Maeda. Takaya jumps on and throws down punches. The ref stops it, maybe a little too early; Maeda was working for Takaya’s leg at the time. Hiroyuki Takaya def. Yoshiro Maeda via TKO, approx 9:41 of round 1.
Masakazu Imanari vs. Bibiano Fernandes
Round 1: Fernandes catches a kick and throws Imanari down, but Imanari gets back up. Fernandes blocks a high kick and takes down Imanari, throwing down some punches before Imanari escapes. Imanari clinches and pulls guard, but Fernandes pulls out and kicks Imanari’s legs from a standing position. The ref stands Imanri up. Imanari again tries to take it to the ground, but Fernandes doesn’t follow. Body kick Imanari. Fernandes again catches a kick, and Imanari again flops to his back. Fernandes kicks Imanari’s legs. Upkick from Imanari before the ref orders a stand-up. Imanari takes a punch and butt-flops, with Fernandes returning to the leg kicks. Another stand up. They trade leg kicks. Fernandes catches another body kick, and Imanari falls back and upkicks before getting to his feet. The referee pauses the fight and tells both guys to pick up the pace. Kicks from Fernandes. It quickly goes back to another butt-flop/leg kick situation. The ref stands ‘em up and gives Imanri a yellow card, which he certainly deserved. Imanari tries a flying knee, then falls to the mat. Fernandes gets on top and starts throwing punches and knees to Imanari’s head. The ref re-sets them in the center of the ring. More knees from Fernandes. Schiavello calls Imanari’s strategy "as predictable as a Tara Reid nipple slip." Time to update your references, bro! The round ends. Awful performance from Imanari.
Round 2: Fernanded catches Imanari’s kick and kicks Imanari’s leg out. Imanari back up. Imanari just sits down in the center of the ring, protest-style. He is ordered up when Fernandes doesn’t bite. Leg kick Fernandes, and another. Imanari with a side kick. More leg kicks from Fernandes, but Imanari returns with a punch. Imanari clinches and falls to the mat, and almost grabs a leg lock before Fernandes escapes. They clinch and Imanari falls down again. The ref gives Fernandes a yellow card? WTF?? Fernandes starts swinging some right hooks. Fernandes takes down Imanari, backs off, and the ref orders Imanari up. Imanari butt-flops one more time as the bell rings. Terrible fight.
Bibiano Fernandes def. Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision.
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren
Which pothead will prevail? During the face off, they hug, then Warren pushes him off.
Round 1: Push kick Kid. Kid slips throwing a high kick. Warren punches and shoots, but can’t get the takedown. He switches to dirty boxing, and Kid responds with a knee in the clinch. Warren gets the takedown, landing in Kid’s guard. Warren trying to posture, but Kid is locking him down. The ref moves them away from the ropes. Warren picks up Yamamoto and gives him a short slam. Warren briefly gets up, but goes right back to Kid’s guard. Another bouncing slam from Warren, and a short punch. The ref stands them up, and gives Yamamoto a yellow card. Body kick from Kid, and another. Right hook from Kid. Warren shoots and clinches. Kid knees out of it and lands a body kick. Right hook from Kid, and a hard leg kick. Another leg kick after a brief clinch. Warren shoots and takes a shot to the face. Short right hook from Kid, and a body kick. Kid lands a leg kick and stuffs a takedown. Warren grabs the thai clinch and gets in a couple knees to Kid’s chin. They separate and clinch again. A knee from Kid and a hook from Warren. Warren shoots, clinches, and throws a knee. Push kick Warren. Body kick from Kid. Warren catches a kick and takes Kid to the mat, throwing down some punches. Kid hanging onto Warren’s arms from the bottom. Warren is warned for raking his fingers near Yamamoto’s eyes and the bell rings. Surprisingly close round. An American judge might give it to Warren…a Japanese one, maybe not.
Round 2: Leg kick Kid. Kid brushes off a takedown attempt and lands a right hook. Warren tries the spinning backfist and hits air. Nice body kick from Kid, then a right hand. Warren clinches, Kid pushes off. Warren catches a body kick and clinches. They exchange knees, and separate. Joe Warren scores a takedown, and they’re soon moved to the center of the ring. Kid nearly snatches an armbar from the bottom. The ref stands them up. Warren shoots, clinches, and gets in an uppercut, but Yamamoto nails him right back. Leg kick from Kid. Warren clinches and gets the takedown after some effort. Warren slugs Yamamoto from the top in the closing seconds, and Yamamoto almost sets up an armbar at the bell. Yamamoto’s hot wife looks concerned, and she should be.
Joe Warren def. Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto via split decision
Warren is now 2-0 in MMA, with wins over Chase Beebe and Kid Yamamoto. Not a bad way to start a career. But it’s a disappointing return for the Kid. And now we’ve made it to the main event…
Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza
The intro hype video is mostly shots of Mayham and Jacare dancing. The matchup is dubbed "Crazy MMA 2." Miller comes out with a choreographed dance number, backed by 10 Japanese schoolgirls. Schiavello says that Miller is living his fantasy. Jacare’s got no chicks, but he does have a giant animated ‘gator behind him. Miller covers his heart for the Star Spangled Banner. Then, the peppier Brazilian national anthem is played for Jacare, with the Brazilians in the room singing along.
Round 1: Miller comes out jabbing immediately, then slips in a right. Miller lands a left, but Jacare shoots and takes Miller down. Miller gets to his feet and escapes. Jacare pushes Miller into a corner. Miller moves out and throws a knee to Jacare’s body. Jacare returns it and they separate. Jacare lands a right. Miller catches Jacare’s kick, tosses him down and kicks Jacare in the head. The ref stops the action because there are no soccer kicks — interesting, we’ve seen tons of knees to the head on the ground tonight, but no kicks — and Jacare gets up with a giant gash on his head. The doctors check on it. Miller is given a yellow card. The doctors still tending to Jacare’s cut. He’s drenched a towel with blood, but he’s allowed to continue. Jacare takes Miller down hard. His cut is staining Miller’s chest red. Miller gets up. The ref stops the fight again because of all the blood, and Miller is pissed. He directs the f-word at either the ref or Jacare, and the Brazilian almost goes after Miller during the break. The ref calls an extended time out. It’s bad news. The ref calls it a no contest due to accidental illegal kick, and Jacare needs to be momentarily restrained. Miller is very upset, and seems to be battling back tears. A very anti-climactic ending to a very weird night.
Probably not what DREAM was hoping for in their last stand on prime-time. The ending was very reminiscient of the Cro Cop/Overeem no contest in the main event of DREAM.6. Anyway, Schiavello and the gang are recapping the night – Guy Mezger compares Warren/Yamamoto to Douglas/Tyson – which means I’ll be signing off and going back to bed for a while. Thanks for hanging out with us, good night, good morning, see ya later…