(“Wii Fit not as easy as looks.”)
DREAM.5 is only three days away — not the most convenient time for the lineup to fall apart. First, the bad news: Featherweight star Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (pictured above) has injured his right knee in training and won’t fight at Monday’s show; the injury might put him on ice for six months. Even worse, a feature in the forthcoming issue of the Japanese tabloid Shukan Gendai alleges that Yamamoto is a regular user of marijuana. (Apparently, that’s looked down on over there; we Americans revere marijuana for its glaucoma-easing and gogoplata-inspiring properties.) Yamamoto last fought at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! (12/31/07), where he smoked Rani Yahya via TKO.
Featherweight Hideo Tokoro is also in danger of dropping from the card, as he was rear-ended while driving on Wednesday, and suffered a back injury could take a week to heal completely. Strangely enough, FightOpinion reports that Tokoro’s scheduled bout against Takeshi Yamazaki was being promoted as an “ikemen” (hot guy) match. And if that’s what it takes to sell fights in Japan, I think I’m going to arrange a superfight between Hard Gay and Bruno.
The good news is that Mark Hunt might actually have an opponent. The Fight Network reports that PRIDE vet Alistair Overeem has been confirmed to face the Super Samoan. Overeem last competed at DREAM.4 last month, where he scored a 36-second KO victory over the far-outmatched Tae Hyun Lee.
Meanwhile in Aoki-land, the odds-on favorite to win DREAM.5′s lightweight GP says he’ll prepare two “outfits” (read: flamboyant tights) for Monday — one for his semi-final bout against Caol Uno, and another for the finals bout against the Alvarez/Kawajiri winner, should he get that far. He also claims he’ll fight Hayato “Mach” Sakurai for the welterweight belt in September; Sakurai was originally supposed to fight Nick Diaz for the strap at DREAM.5, but Diaz was pulled from the bout when EliteXC scheduled him to fight Thomas Denny at “Saturday Night Fights 2″ next weekend.