Armenian-Dutch fighter Gegard Mousasi put in a career-making performance at today’s DREAM.6 in Saitama, Japan, earning quick stoppage victories over Melvin Manhoef and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to win the middleweight grand prix. In his first fight of the night, Mousasi easily dominated Manhoef, quickly scoring a trip-takedown, then securing the mount and clamping on a triangle choke when Manhoef reversed the position. Manhoef attempted to slam out of it, but was forced to tap at the 1:28 mark. Meanwhile on the other side of the bracket, Souza enjoyed a similarly brief win over Croatian Zelg Galesic. After getting a double-leg takedown, Souza passed from guard to mount and snatched an armbar when Galesic tried to buck.
Both men moved into the GP finals relatively fresh — not that they needed to be. When Mousasi and Souza finally met in the last fight of the night, it seemed like Mousasi was in over his head, as Souza first slammed him then began to drop punches from half-guard. But Souza made the fatal error of standing up, and Mousasi caught him with a Hail Mary upkick that knocked Jacare out cold as he began to dive in for a punch.
DREAM.6′s non-tourney featured matches went pretty much as expected, with the stars beating up on the cans. Shinya Aoki returned to his flamboyantly winning ways, hopping on the back of WEC castoff Todd Moore and finishing him at the 1:10 mark with a neck crank. Jimmy Ambriz should be applauded for lasting over two minutes with Sergei Kharitonov, who battered The Titan with vicious strikes until Ambriz was forced to tap on the ground. After abusing him for most of the first round, Yoshihiro Akiyama submitted karate practitioner Masanori Tonooka (1-2), who, let’s just say, is no Lyoto Machida.
The only real surprise (and disappointment) was how the heavyweight feature between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Alistair Overeem played out.
The Demolition Man looked deadly early on, throwing Cro Cop to the mat and peppering him with punches from guard, opening up a cut near Cro Cop’s left eye. The fighters were eventually stood up, but the action went back to the ground again after Overeem caught a head kick from Cro Cop and tripped him down. After some time spent on the mat, both fighters were issued a yellow card for inactivity. Then things got ugly. Overeem nailed Cro Cop with a knee to the groin (which the ref didn’t see), then another one (which the ref did see), and the fight was paused while Cro Cop recovered. After punching a cut open over Cro Cop’s right eye, Overeem slammed his knee into Cro Cop’s balls again from the clinch, and Overeem was given a yellow card. Cro Cop cried “no mas” — it should have been a disqualification win for Filipovic, but the match was declared a no contest.
Full results are below. Videos to come later.
Gegard Mousasi def. Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza via KO (upkick), 2:15 of round 1
Alistair Overeem and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic fought to a no-contest (knees to groin), round 1
Shinya Aoki def. Todd Moore via submission (neck crank), 1:10 of round 1
Yoshihiro Akiyama def. Masanori Tonooka via submission (armbar), 6:26 of round 1
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Kuniyoshi Hironaka via unanimous decision
Masakatsu Funaki def. Ikuhisa Minowa via submission (heel hook), 0:52 of round 1
Atsushi Yamamoto def. Hideo Tokoro via unanimous decision
Sergei Kharitonov def. Jimmy Ambriz via submission (strikes), 2:15 of round 1
Keita Nakamura def. Adriano Martins via split decision
Gegard Mousasi def. Melvin Manhoef via submission (triangle choke), 1:28 of round 1
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Zelg Galesic via submission (armbar), 1:27 of round 1
Andrews Nakahara def. Dong Sik Yoon via TKO (strikes), 0:30 of round 2