Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Thanks to Kris Hartrum who has sent me this report from yesterday's event.
It was another solid event for FEG's DREAM as the promotion succeeded in delivering their 13th installment on Monday March 22, 2010 in Yokohama Japan.
Defending champ Bibiano Fernandes kept the championship belt after narrowly defeating former lightweight standout Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen by a close split decision in the night's headlining bout.
The first round clearly went to fast paced Fernandes who managed to dominate the former DREAM lightweight champ on the feet for the majority of the first. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace impressed from the opening seconds of round 1, throwing an assorted arsenal of strikes including a head kick, followed by an aggressive double-leg take down, landing Hansen on his back. Hellboy managed to keep the distance with up-kicks and was quickly back to his feet, to the crowd's approval. Hansen, the more experienced of the two, seemed to have little to offer the 2009 DREAM featherweight GP winner in first period. Fernandes continuously took advantage of Hansen's lack of takedown defense, but failed to profit from the dominant position due to the Norwegian's ferocious up-kicks and quick recovery.
Round 2 saw more of the same with the champ taking Joachim down with relative ease only to find Hansen standing, but not before avoiding the lone submission attempt of the fight as Bibiano reached for a leg-lock to no avail. As the first minute rolled away it was clear that the Pride FC veteran Hansen was gaining the upper-hand in the striking game. The resilient Brazilian remained stalwart and did not take enough damage to sway judges Gen Isono and Matt Hume, both giving Bibiano Fernandes the win by split decision after 2 rounds of featherweight action.
In the only unfortunate happening of the evening, Josh Barnett defeated Siala-Mou (Mighty Mo) Siligia, in a surprisingly “at odds," groin smashing heavyweight competition that saw an effective Mighty Moe knock-down # 3 ranked Barnett in the first moments of Round 1.
After a pair of ineffective takedown attempts, the pro-wrestling veteran Barnett nearly crippled the American/Samoan K1 kickboxer when he landed a powerful, yet off target savate (which Barnett has been recently training) kick to Siligia's groin. The shot resulted in a excruciatingly long time-stop where it seemed that Mighty Moe would not be able to continue. To the crowd's delight a reluctant Siligia decided he was able to battle on only to be thrown to the mat with a double-leg and submitted by straight armlock at 4:41 in the first round.
Post fight, an apologetic Barnett spoke the crowd and allowed Mighty Moe a free shot to the groin of his own that sent Barnett down to a knee. He told the fans in Japanese that he would fight "Anyone...anywhere!"
In his anticipated comeback fight, Boxer K.J. Noons returned successfully in defeating striker Andre "Dida" Amade with superior hands in a lightweight 5th fight of the night. Brazilian banger Amade could do little to penetrate the game of K.J. Noons who used hard boxing combinations to punish the K1 fighter's midsection. Amade used the ring to his advantage circling and evading, but Noons ability proved to be too much as he continued to pepper the Brazilian with punches.
Round 2: Amade exploded from his corner with a flying knee from across the ring but it was easily evaded. Both fighters landed impressive blows, with Noons coming out the better man in the exchanges. Amade managed to stir up the crowd by edging Noons to come at him, all the while continuing to defend and circle, throwing a few wild punches along the way. Noons continued to stalk, screaming with every punch landed. In the last minute, both fighters went for broke unleashing a fury of hay-makers, but lacking the "finishing touch," with all three judges giving the nod to Noons after 2 rounds.
In the post fight presser, Noons expressed disappointment that he was not able to knock-out his opponent and was excited to be fighting for Strikeforce in Japan.
In a battle of the Karate fighters, Ryo Chonan worked his way to a unanimous decision after 2 rounds against Kyokushin fighter Andrews Nakahara. Chonan had the upper hand in first round staying on top of the Brazilian and chipped away with punches after transitioning to a crucifix.
The second round saw more of the same save a shinning moment where Nakahara shot for the stars, nearly putting away UFC and Pride FC veteran in Chonan with heavy strikes in the clinch. Chonan held on and dragged Nakahara to the ground once more where he sealed the deal punching to the back of the head and neck in full mount taking the unanimous.
Osaka born Yoshihiro Maeda lost to Cole Escoveda by way of the most terrifying KO of the night. Pride, WEC and Pancrase veteran Maeda dominated from the start using speed and overhand punches to break through Escovedo's reach advantage, but it did not last as Escovedo planted a leg kick followed by a devastating high kick to Maeda's chin, knocking Maeda through the air, only to be finished (for good measure) by a graceful falling punch, ending the featherweight match by way of KO at 2 mintues 20 seconds in the first. Maeda was visibly shaken after the fight, and even vomited. The American WEC veteran was thrilled and told the fans he had always dreamed of fighting for the Japanese fans.
Karate bad-ass and DEEP promotion champ Katsunori Kikuno entered the ring valiantly to We are the World to meet UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka in the second bout of the evening. In the first exchanges of the match, Kikuno jumped in, throwing his famous crescent-style front kick, Hironaka defending and opting for the safety of the clinch. After a 1 minute. Kikuno landed his dreaded kick to Kuniyoshi's midsection and then followed through with a right hook, KO-ing the recent shootbox victor at 1 minute and 20 seconds. Post fight, Kikuno told the crowd he hoped to move up further in the LW ranks.
"The pressure was great and I knew that if I lost I would lose a lot more than just the match," said Kikuno in the post fight interviews
In the first bout of the evening, Japan's favorite giant killing superhero Ikuhisa Minowa managed to brave the storm and submit former King of The Cage super heavy-weight champ Jimmy Ambriz by way of toe hold in 2 minutes 42 seconds in the second round. Amrbiz was successful in stuffing Minowaman's wrestling game in the first, but seemed exhausted after punching the Japanese Super Hulk champ into oblivion. At the post fight interview a happy Minowaman said Ambriz "...was able to meet me on my terms and I was able to grow as a result."
During the opening ceremony, DREAM stylistically plugged their 2010 DREAM /Strike Force inter-promotion deal, focusing heavily on Shinya Aoki and Strikeforce LW champ Gilbert Melindez's fight in mid April.
Yokohama Arena- March 22, 2010
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