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Tag: Gesias Calvancante

Sakuraba/Tamura, Hansen/JZ Announced for ‘Dynamite!! 2008′

Fileds K-1 DREAM Dynamite!! 2008 MMA Japan poster
(Image courtesy of Nightmare of Battle)

Two headlining matchups were announced today for DREAM and K-1′s combined “FieLDS Dynamite!!: Yuuki no Chikara 2008″ event, which will be held on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. In the main event spot will be Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba facing Kiyoshi Tamura. Sakuraba and Tamura are former UWFi pro wrestling stablemates who were previously supposed to fight each other in PRIDE, but the match never came together; there is a rumored rivalry between them dating back to Tamura’s disrespectful treatment of Sakuraba in the early ’90s when Tamura was a UWFi star and Sakuraba was a struggling up-and-comer. Tamura’s last ring appearance was a 57-second knockout victory over Masakatsu Funaki at DREAM 2 in April, while Sakuraba is coming off his brutal beating at the hands of Melvin Manhoef at DREAM 4 in June.

In the co-main event spot is a non-title fight between DREAM lightweight GP winner Joachim Hansen and highly regarded American Top Team fighter Gesias “JZ” Calvancante. Also on the card is a four-man K-1 tournament featuring Ryuya Kusakabe, Koya Urabe, Shota Shimada, and 16-year old Japanese kickboxing phenom “Hiroya“; check out some of his work here.


‘Power Rankings’ Update of DOOM!

(Crazy Anderson Silva wallpaper courtesy of

Over the last couple weeks, Matt Serra came crashing back down to Earth, Rich Franklin got his balls back, Shinya Aoki smothered JZ, and Denis Kang went out like a bitch. So if you haven’t swung by our Power Rankings section lately, please do so. In particular, the lightweight, middleweight, and pound-for-pound lists were freshly updated today. And you may be surprised at how high I ranked Travis Wiuff in the heavyweight division for going all the way at YAMMA 1…

Anyway, give ‘em a look and let us know if you see things differently.



Aoki Out of DREAM GP! JZ [Not] Back In! Total F*cking Chaos!

(Aoki’s fancy flying guard-pull against Calvancante.)

Are you sitting down? Sherdog is reporting that Shinya Aoki suffered a facial injury in his fight against Gesias Calvancante yesterday, and will not be able to participate in the second round of DREAM’s lightweight grand prix (May 11th; Saitama, Japan). UPDATE: Sherdog amends their story: “Calvancante was approached about replacing the Japanese fighter, but the 24-year-old American Top Team representative could not come to terms with the promotion and has since left Japan.”

Aoki always seemed to have misgivings about continuing in the tournament. Here’s what he said in an interview on DREAM’s website a couple weeks ago:

Are you thinking about fighting on May 11 in DREAM 3?
I win on Apr 29, but not fight on May 11. That’s their business and not me. I’m not well-considered person to agree with fighting on May 11. I’m not thinking about a fight after Apr 29. I may fight if I had an easy fight on Apr 29.

Don’t you want a belt?
Not interested in. My next fight has more meaning than a belt.

And in another interview

“I have no schedule after April 29 so far. I don’t even think about the 2R. I will have a good result on April 29 and clean up my past.”

So, it’s safe to say that Aoki’s heart wasn’t in DREAM’s lightweight GP past the marquee matchup of him vs. Calvancante, and now this so-called “facial injury” is sounding a little too convenient. But hey, he’s in good company: Kazushi Sakuraba wants nothing to do with DREAM’s middleweight tournament. Good lord, is it too much to ask for DREAM to book fighters that actually want to be involved with them?


Videos: DREAM.2 Highlights

We’ll kick things off with Kiyoshi Tamura’s quick demolition of Masakatsu Funaki, which turned out to be the night’s only stoppage-by-strikes (action starts at the 1:17 mark). More vids after the jump; for a recap of the event, click here.

UPDATE: All the broken vids have been replaced…hopefully this batch will last a bit longer.


Aoki Beats JZ in DREAM.2 Rematch; Kang + Minowaman Bounced Out of Middleweight GP

(Shinya Aoki, man of steel.)

While us Westerners were hitting the snooze button over and over again this morning, DREAM‘s second event was going down in Japan’s Saitama Super Arena. In a night full of surprises, the biggest one was how easily Shinya Aoki handled Gesias Calvancante. The “Master of Jumping Locks” played it true to his nickname, spending a large chunk of the first round hanging off of Calvancante’s back and working for a choke, and nailing a flying guard-pull in the second round. JZ landed shots where he could, but Aoki’s ground control and multiple submission attempts convinced the judges to give him the match unanimously. With the win, Aoki advances to the second round of DREAM’s lightweight tournament, which goes down May 11th. Now that he’s made it through Calvancante, he’s a strong favorite to go all the way.

The rest of DREAM.2 was devoted to the first round of their middleweight grand prix. Kazushi Sakuraba’s match with Kyokushin karate practitioner Andrews Nakahara (0-0 in MMA competition before the fight) was as lopsided as expected, with Sak schooling Nakahara on the ground en route to a neck crank submission. But there were two major upsets on the card, as crowd favorites Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa and Denis Kang were eliminated from the GP. Minowa put in a lethargic performance against Taiei Kin — who owned a 2-2 record coming into the tournament — and was mostly unsuccessful in his repeated takedown attempts, absorbing a ton of leg kicks and knees to the head in the process. During the times when Minowa did have Kin on the ground, he failed to inflict any damage, and was eventually handed a loss by the judges.

Denis Kang’s submission loss to Gegard Mousasi was just as disappointing. After an energetic striking exchange to open the match, Kang took Mousasi to the ground and worked for a kimura while dodging Mousasi’s rabbit-punches and knees to the head on the ground (both of which seemed to be quite legal at this event, for some reason). But Kang was eventually kicked off, and when he went in to throw a punch at the downed Mousasi he literally fell into a triangle choke; it was the kind of a loss that only an amateur would experience, and it would be hard to argue for Kang as a top-ten middleweight at this point.

Full results are after the jump. Come back later for videos from the event, and if you get HDNet, set your DVRs now: DREAM.2 will be broadcast this Saturday, May 3rd, at 10:30 p.m. ET.


Video: Gesias Calvancante vs. Joe Lauzon

Since this morning’s Baszler/Chan viddy was pulled off YouTube in nothin’ flat, here’s another must-see: Gesias “JZ” Calvancante vs. Joe Lauzon in an amateur MMA match that took place I don’t know when and I don’t know where (if you can fill in the blanks, please hit us with the info in the comments section). The fight starts out as a jiu-jitsu chess match — honestly, it looks like the guys are just playing Twister at one point — until Lauzon scores the full mount and rains down some green leather. But JZ reverses the position and the round ends. In the second frame, Calvancante patiently works to Lauzon’s back and slips in the rear-naked choke; Lauzon stands up with JZ on his back, and eventually goes down like a wounded animal. It’s an interesting look back at a time when Joe was just starting out and Gesias wasn’t such a freakin’ beast.


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.)


JZ+Aoki Headline DREAM 1 Fight Lineup

(Sorry bro, rock beats finger.)

Nightmare of Battle has the official fight order for Saturday’s highly-anticipated DREAM show. Notably, the fight between Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will headline the event, Cro Cop’s match with Tatsuya Mizuno will serve as a break between the first half of the lightweight tournament bouts and the second, and the opener will be Ikuhisa Minowa in an “open-weight” fight against a freak to be named tomorrow. Cutting it kind of close, huh? Anyway, the lineup goes like this:

Lightweight Tournament 1st Round (second group)
10. J.Z. Calvan vs. Shinya Aoki
9. Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Black Mamba (Kultar Gill)
8. Andre Dida vs. Eddie Alvarez

Heavyweight Feature
7. Mirko CroCop vs. Tatsuya Mizuno

Lightweight Tournament 1st Round (first group)
6. Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Jung Bu Kyung
5. Katsuhiko Nagata vs. Artur Umakhanov
4. Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Luis Buscape
3. Kotetsu Boku vs. Joachim Hansen

Welterweight Feature
2. Hayato Sakurai vs. Hidetaka Monma (correction: This fight isn’t part of the lightweight tournament, as we said yesterday. Props to reader “robnashville” for being smarter than us.)

Open Weight Fight
1. Minowaman vs. TBA

Christ, I’d give my left nipple to be at this show. Joachim Hansen could be a dark horse to win it all, though most likely the eventual winner will be the guy who survives Saturday’s main event. Calvancante’s utter domination of his past opponents make him the obvious front-runner, and he’s been working with Eddie Bravo to deal with Aoki’s rubber guard and straightjacket-like grappling. There are some interesting betting lines here, which list Ishida/Kyung-Jung as the biggest first-round mismatch (-1000/+550), Kawajiri as the favorite to win the entire tournament, and Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill as a laughable +3800 under-underdog to go all the way. Holler at a brotha’s comments section if you have any big predictions for the show…


Fights of the Day: JZ Calvancante vs. Amade + Ribeiro

Besides his astounding fighting ability, Gesias “JZ” Calvancante has another advantage going into DREAM‘s all-star lightweight tournament that kicks off Saturday night in Saitama, Japan — he’s already faced three of the guys in the bracket. JZ scored a first-round TKO of Hidetaka Monma at K-1 Hero’s 5 in May 2006, knocked off Andre “Dida” Amade last September to win the K-1 Hero’s 2007 middleweight tournament, and ate his only loss via a decision to Joachim Hansen at a Shooto match in 2004. Here’s his meeting with Dida, which went from wild slugfest to JZ’s usual assault-from above, ending with a brutal armbar. Below that is Calvancante’s opening-round match against Vitor Ribeiro from the same night, in which Shaolin was utterly dominated in 35 seconds.


“JZ” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki Will Throw Down at K-1 in March

(Shinya Aoki wraps up Akira Kikuchi during a Shooto championship bout in February 2007.)

Gesias “JZ” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki — who we have ranked as the #2 lightweight and #7 welterweight in the world, respectively — were originally scheduled to face each other at the Yarennoka! card in Japan on New Year’s Eve, but Calvancante had to pull out of the match due to a knee injury sustained during training. Luckily, Calvancante has recovered and the fight has been rescheduled to a K-1 event in March.

Calvancante, a Brazilian-born American Top Team member, has won the K-1 HERO’S Lightweight Grand Prix championship for the last two years, knocking off fighters like Rani Yahya, Caol Uno, and Vitor Ribeiro in the process. His record is 14-1-1, with his only loss coming at the hands of Joachim Hansen in 2004, and his draw coming from a 2005 match with current IFL lightweight champ Ryan Schultz. Shinya Aoki — one of the only fighters in the world whose ground skills may surpass B.J. Penn’s — is Shooto’s current middleweight (167 lbs.) champion. The Japanese fighter’s 12-2 record includes wins over Joachim Hansen, Clay French and Akira Kikuchi (twice).

It’s not clear yet which weight class the match will be fought at, or if this will be an open-weight bout — we’ll update you when we know more.