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JZ/Aoki to Rematch at DREAM.2

(Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.)

DREAM announced today that Gesias “JZ” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will face each other again at DREAM.2 (April 29th; Saitama, Japan), to decide which fighter will proceed to the second round of its all-star lightweight grand prix. Calvancante and Aoki’s first match, at last month’s DREAM.1, ended in a no-contest after Calvancante landed a series of illegal elbow strikes to the back of Aoki’s neck, and Aoki wasn’t able to continue fighting; Calvancante had been dominating the action up to that point, and many fans speculated that Aoki overplayed his injury in order to escape the fight and avoid a loss.

DREAM.2 will also feature the opening round of a middleweight grand prix that will feature bouts between Denis Kang and Gegard Mousasi, Kiyoshi Tamura and Masakatsu Funaki, and (possibly) Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Andrews Nakahara; Yoshihiro Akiyama and Ikuhisa Minowa are also expected to participate. The winner of the JZ/Aoki battle will have to compete again just two weeks later at DREAM.3 (May 11th; Saitama, Japan) against Katsuhiko Nagata, who defeated Artur Oumakhanov by unanimous decision in the lightweight tourney’s first round. The rest of the lightweight GP’s second-round matchups look like this:

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luis “Buscape” Firmino (note: Kawajiri and Firmino previously met at PRIDE Bushido 8 in July 2005, where Kawajiri won by unanimous decision.)

Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno (note: Uno, a UFC/K-1 Hero’s vet, didn’t compete in the lightweight GP’s first round, and is getting an automatic bye into the second.)

Joachim Hansen vs. Eddie Alvarez (note: Joachim Hansen is a freakin’ beast.)

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