DREAM.11 Results, Play-by-Play and Commentary

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After seven months and eleven bouts spread across three events, DREAM's 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix draws to a close at DREAM.11. The tournament -- which has already spawned a few "Fight of the Year"-caliber bouts and one 140-pound hurricane named Joe Warren -- will see its winner decided and DREAM's first featherweight champion crowned inside Yokohama Arena tonight tomorrow morning, and as always, Bloody Elbow will be here to bring you full coverage of the action. So stay up late or wake up early and join us here at 7 AM Eastern / 4 AM Pacific for the start of the HDNet broadcast.

Note: Since HDNet is unable to air the event live due to Tokyo Broadcast System's exclusive live rights, we ask that you refrain from posting results or any comments that could be considered "spoilers" for a few hours until the HDNet broadcast begins.

And we're live only slightly tape-delayed! Full play-by-play after the jump.

Quick Results
Bibiano Fernandes (7-2) def. Hiroyuki Takaya (12-7-1) via Split Decision
Shinya Aoki (22-4) def. Joachim Hansen (19-8-1) via Submission (Armbar) R2
Kazushi Sakuraba (25-12-1, 2 NC) def. Rubin Williams (0-1) via Submission (Kimura) R1
Tatsuya Kawajiri (25-5-2) def. Melchor Manibusan (2-4) via TKO (Punches) R1
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (7-4) def. Bob Sapp (10-6-1) via TKO (Punches) R1
Ikuhisa Minowa (43-30-8) def. Hong Man Choi (2-3) via Submission (Heel Hook) R1
Bibiano Fernandes (6-2) def. Joe Warren (2-1) via Submission (Armbar) R1
Hiroyuki Takaya (12-6-1) def. Hideo Tokoro (22-17-1) via TKO (Punches) R2
Kazuyuki Miyata (8-7) def. Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata (11-6-3) via Unanimous Decision

#1 - 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix Reserve Bout
Kazuyuki Miyata (7-7) vs. Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata (11-5-3)

Round 1: Miyata looking a bit more healthy after rehydrating than he did at yesterday's weigh-ins, but he's still an unnatural shade of tan. The wrestler changes levels, brings Hata down and takes his back. Only one hook in, though, and Hata is doing a good job of wrist control. After a moment of inactivity, the ref stands them up and issues a yellow card to DJ.taiki. After some tentative exchanges on the feet, Miyata shoots a double and puts Hata on his back in the corner. Miyata in half guard, lands a few solid shots from the top as Hata shrimps and turns to his side. The ref relocates them to the center. Miyata in side control now with Hata throwing some rather sad looking knees in the general vicinity of his head. Miyata takes mount with 40 seconds left, begins pounding away. Hata rolls over and covers up to survive the round.

Round 2: Big knee misses from Miyata, but he follows up with a cracking left hand. He puts Hata on his back once more and postures up, but Hata is doing a good job of controlling and avoiding punishment. Momentarily back to their feet, Miyata slams Hata to the mat with authority. Two minutes left. Hata snares a guillotine! It looks tight, but Miyata postures and extracts his head. Hata scrambles again with a minute left and looks for a kimura­, but can't find it. The two stand instead and Hata no-sells a belly-to-back suplex from Miyata near the end of the match.

Bloody Elbow scores the bout for Kazuyuki Miyata.

Kazuyuki Miyata (8-7) def. Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata (11-6-3) via Unanimous Decision

 

#2 - 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix Semifinal
Hiroyuki Takaya (11-6-1) vs. Hideo Tokoro (22-16-1)

Round 1: Takaya pressing forward, controlling the ring and moving Tokoro into the corner. Daisuke Naito - who's been helping Tokoro with his boxing for the bout - is shown looking nervous in the crowd. Two minutes in and no real solid offense from either man. Tokoro with a nice left high kick, but can't get Takaya to the ground. Now Tokoro shoots a double. Takaya sprawls well and Tokoro tries to pull guard, but Takaya stands and kicks away at the legs of Tokoro as the crowd shouts along. Steady diet of leg kicks and right hands from the Evil Fist, who is still doing a great job of controlling Tokoro's movement around the ring. Tokoro tries to pull guard again and eats some more leg kicks. He stands and muscles Takaya into the post, but Takaya reverses and nearly lands a fight-ending knee - Tokoro saved himself by trying to pull guard at the same time. Three minutes left. Takaya lands a solid combo and Tokoro drags him down to guard and hangs on like a koala. Takaya stands and issues some more leg kicks. Back on the feet, Tokoro goes for broke with a flying knee and follows up with a flurry of punches which stumble Takaya. Tokoro pours it on and tries to jump guard again, this time with a triangle in mind. Takaya slips out and lands some solid shots on Tokoro. He's caught him! Tokoro tries to survive as Takaya pounds away. The ref almost steps in, but Tokoro is saved by the bell. Fantastic first round! Oh my - Tokoro stumbles and falls on his face on his way to the corner.

Round 2: Takaya floors Tokoro with a big left and hammers him out on the ground. This time the ref has no choice but to step in.

Hiroyuki Takaya (12-6-1) def. Hideo Tokoro (22-17-1) via TKO (Punches) R2

 

#3 - 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix Semifinal
Bibiano Fernandes (5-2) vs. Joe Warren (2-0)

Round 1: Warren slams down Bibiano, who immediately locks up a tight guard. Warren leaves his arm exposed, and the BJJ whiz locks down a vicious looking armbar. Bibiano flattens it out and the ref jumps in. Warren claims he didn't tap, but I'm pretty sure I saw it and he wasn't getting out of that armbar anyway. Fernandes flips Warren the bird and bolts up the ramp.

Bibiano Fernandes (6-2) def. Joe Warren (2-1) via Submission (Armbar) R1

 

#4 - Super Hulk Tournament Semifinal
Hong Man Choi (2-2) vs. Ikuhisa Minowa (42-30-8)

Round 1: Minowa executes an early... somersault. The crowd approves. Now Minowa shoots a single, but Choi sprawls and falls into his guard. Minowa gets on top momentarily, but Choi easily escapes. Choi getting frustrated with Minowa's puroresu antics. Minowa tries to pull guard, but Choi can basically land anything he wants from guard. Big right hand from Minowa is answered by a knee from Choi. Now Minowa gets Choi down. Choi doesn't scramble fast enough this time and Minowa takes side control. Ref calls for action as Choi ties up and Minowa throws hard knees to the body. Three minutes left - the ref stands them up and issues a yellow card to the Korean for stalling. Minowa shoots, Choi sprawls and lands a few shots, but they're soon back up. Lather, rinse, repeat. Wow, Choi could almost fight a standing Minowa from his knees. The round ends with Minowa shooting another double on Choi.

Round 2: Minowa looks pretty tired from having to control that massive man on the ground in the first frame. Another shot from Minowa and Choi takes a moment to rest in north-south position. Minowa scoots around and tries to take Choi's back, but HMC rolls to his back and Minowa goes after the kneebar. Choi taps! Well played, Minowaman.

Ikuhisa Minowa (43-30-8) def. Hong Man Choi (2-3) via Submission (Heel Hook) R1

 

#5 - Super Hulk Tournament Semifinal
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (6-4) vs. Bob Sapp (10-5-1)

Round 1: After being chased around the ring for a few seconds, Sokoudjou takes Sapp down. The Cameroonian postures up with knee-on-belly and starts pummeling Sapp. Now Sokoudjou moves to side control and throws more hammerfists down. Sapp turtles up... and it's over. Sigh.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (7-4) def. Bob Sapp (10-6-1) via TKO (Punches) R1

 

#6 - Lightweight Match
Tatsuya Kawajiri (24-5-2) vs. Melchor Manibusan (2-3)

Round 1: Manibusan rushes out like the proverbial house on fire, winging overhand shots to the head and body and pushing Kawajiri into the corner. Kawajiri falls into Manibusan's guard. Melchor doing a good job tying up as the ref calls for action. With the way things are going, he's gonna get a yellow card for stalling. Kawajiri landing a few soft shots to the head and trying to pass. He does, and now he mounts the Guamanian, who's hanging on tight and trying to slip out the back door. Manibusan turtling up as Kawajiri slips more and more punches through his gloves. It's all over. A good show of sportsmanship from Kawajiri immediately after the stoppage. Enjoy your title shot, Crusher.

Tatsuya Kawajiri (25-5-2) def. Melchor Manibusan (2-4) via TKO (Punches) R1

 

Intermission!
DREAM.12 participants Yoshiro Maeda, Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Katsunori Kikuno enter the ring.
Maeda says he’ll take Chase Beebe’s head home on a platter.
Hironaka says he’s been fighting in the cage for a while and plans to finish Parky. He wants a title shot if he wins.
Kikuno calls his opponent Eddie Alvarez "a monster" and promises to have an exciting match to make Japan proud.

 

#7 - Middleweight Match
Kazushi Sakuraba (24-12-1, 2 NC) vs. Rubin Williams (debut)

Round 1: Saku begins chopping away with leg kicks, which Williams starts to wince from immediately. After a minute of this, Saku takes Williams down and Williams attempts a weak guillotine. Sakuraba in side control now, setting up an armbar on Williams' left side. He changes his mind and instead wrenches a nasty kimura on Williams' right arm until the boxer is forced to tap.

Kazushi Sakuraba (25-12-1, 2 NC) def. Rubin Williams (0-1) via Submission (Kimura) R1

 

#8 - DREAM Lightweight Title Match
Joachim Hansen (19-7-1 / champion) vs. Shinya Aoki (21-4)

Round 1: Aoki wearing the same garb as last time - board shorts, with his usual Aokipants underneath. Aoki presses the champion into the corner, then drags him down after Hansen briefly kept himself upright with help from the ropes. Aoki in side control, but Hansen pushes him back out to butterfly guard. After three minutes, Aoki finally begins throwing some punches from guard. Hansen throws up a triangle which causes Aoki to stand, but they're soon back in the same position. Ref restarts them in the center with Aoki in half guard. Hellboy keeping active from the bottom, and he drills Aoki with an upkick! Aoki is dazed, and Hansen kicks him again! The ref... calls time out? A replay shows that Aoki was accidentally kicked in the groin and caught the upkick as he fell to the mat in pain. He's now being attended to by the ringside doctor in his corner. Aoki takes his full five minutes to recover and we're back in action with Aoki in Hansen's butterfly guard. Hansen closes up guard, keeping busy with punches to the face and heels to the liver from underneath. Hansen snares Aoki's right arm and tries to extend the armbar, but Aoki looks unfazed. Aoki rolls over to look for a heel hook and eats a few hard punches as Hansen sits on top. Aoki tries for a body triangle, but can't lock it up and gets back to his feet, where Hansen takes his back. Aoki reverses and puts Hellboy on his back again. One minute left and Aoki has slowed the pace, content to control Hansen positionally in the corner and ride out the round.

Round 2: Aoki quickly back in Hansen's guard, where he doesn't do much for the first two minutes of the second frame. The ref stands them up and gives both men yellow cards for inactivity. Hansen with a glancing knee, but Aoki shoots and brings him down again. Now Aoki takes the mount and begins to flatten out the champion. 90 seconds left. Aoki looking for a guillotine from mount, but gets swept and changes to an armbar. Hansen sits with Aoki hanging off his arm and tells his corner he's alright. With less than a minute left, Aoki extends the hold and Hansen taps! Shinya Aoki is your new DREAM Lightweight Champion.

Shinya Aoki (22-4) def. Joachim Hansen (19-8-1) via Submission (Armbar) R2

 

#9 - 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix Final
Bibiano Fernandes (6-2) vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (12-6-1)

Round 1: Takaya opens up with a cracking left hand upside the head of Bibiano, who jumps guard and looks for an armbar early. Now he rolls under and goes for a heel hook on the right leg of Takaya, but Takaya ably stacks him and escapes. Bibiano throws a big right of his own, followed by a double leg which puts Takaya on the mat with his back to the ropes. Takaya stands and Fernandes jumps onto the Japanese fighter's back, trying for the RNC. Takaya backs the BJJ player into a corner, but Bibiano is locked on tight. The ref calls for action and restarts them in the center. Questionable call to say the least - there wasn't much happening, but Fernandes had Takaya right where he wanted him. Technical difficulties caused me to miss the rest of the round - my apologies. Guy Mezger says Takaya took the first round, and replays show him landing some nasty shots on Bibiano, one of which opened up a big cut over his right eye.

Round 2: Takaya is drilled by a hard right hand from Bibiano, and Fernandes scrambles to take the back and sink in an RNC. In a mirror of the first round, the standing Takaya backs into the corner, and after a moment, the referee breaks them up again. Takaya working his right jab, stringing together some hard combinations now, but Bibiano is taking them right on the chin and keeps pressing forward. The final two minutes are a frantic slugfest with both men going for broke. Guy Mezger calls it the "Gatti-Ward of MMA fights" and I can't disagree. Wild, wild stuff - despite conventional logic, this fight could really go either way with the judges.

Bloody Elbow scores the fight for Bibiano Fernandes.

Bibiano Fernandes (7-2) def. Hiroyuki Takaya (12-7-1) via Split Decision

Bibiano Fernandes is the 2009 DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix winner and your first DREAM Featherweight Champion.

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