Japan's Dream returns with its first show of the year tonight, the back end of a loaded Sunday MMA double-header, so stay up late with BloodyElbow.com as we bring you live results and play-by-play (as well as comments from the always sleep-deprived BE Night Crew). The show kicks off at 3AM Eastern / midnight Pacific.
Featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will put his title on the line for the first time tonight as he takes on newly-minted 138-pounder Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen, and two of Japan's top lightweights will clash as Deep champ Katsunori Kikuno meets Cage Force ace Kuniyoshi Hironaka. Also on the undercard are Josh Barnett, K.J. Noons and the ever-popular "Minowaman," Ikuhisa Minowa.
Josh Barnett def. "Mighty Mo" Siliga via submission (kimura) R1
K.J. Noons def. Andre "Dida" Amado via unanimous decision
Ryo Chonan def. Andrews Nakahara via unanimous decision
Cole Escovedo def. Yoshiro Maeda via KO (head kick) R1
Katsunori Kikuno def. Kuniyoshi Hironaka via KO (punch) R1
Ikuhisa Minowa def. Jimmy Ambriz via submission (toe hold) R2
Round 1: Bibiano starts off with inside thigh kicks. Hansen answers. Champion dumps the challenger to the mat with a powerful double leg, but Hansen pops back up. Fernandes clinches against the ropes and Hansen stuffs a trip attempt. Fernandes going to the body with kicks, then backs Joachim into a corner and wrestles him down. Hansen just avoids the champ passing his guard and scrambles back to his feet. Round one half done now. Fernandes catches Hansen with a glancing knee to the groin, but Joachim motions that he's fine and they continue. Big, chopping outside thigh kick from Hansen. Now Bibiano shoots a single, deposits Hellboy on his back and stands over the challenger. Cautious of upkicks from the lengthy Hansen, Fernandes allows him back up. Nice jump knee from Bibiano, who then extends his hand to Hansen as if he caught him low. Hansen repays the courtesy with a punch. Now the two slap hands. Hansen backs Fernandes into the corner and connects with a few knees, but Bibiano extracts himself as the round expires.
Round 2: Fernandes with an early double leg, puts Hansen down, then grabs for a leglock. Hansen escapes to the feet. Bibiano catches a kick from Hansen and puts him on the mat, but Joachim makes him pay with a few solid upkicks to the mush. They stand and Hansen delivers some knees to the midsection from the clinch. Fernandes ducks a punch from Hansen and answers with an overhand right. 90 seconds left. Crowd gasps as Hansen thumps Bibiano with an uppercut, but Fernandes ties up. Another double leg, but Hansen is quickly up once more. Hansen charges with a knee, but Fernandes staves it off with a front kick. Very close fight to call, could really go either way on the judges' cards.
BloodyElbow.com sees the bout for Bibiano Fernandes.
Bibiano Fernandes (8-2) def. Joachim Hansen (19-9-1) via split decision
Round 1: Barnett in his wrestling shoes, Mo barefoot. Mo drops Barnett with a left hand, but he recovers and presses Mo into the ring post. After 30 seconds of no action, they're split up. Yowch - Barnett catches Mo with a front kick directly to the groin and the Samoan crumples to the canvas. Mo looks (and sounds) to be in agony as the doctors enter the ring to check on him. Looks like this one is all over.
Wow - after about 10 minutes pass and as many Dream officials converging in the ring, Mo rises off his stool and is ready to continue fighting. Barnett pushes Mo against the ropes and dumps him on the mat with a high double. Josh passes to the side and seconds later, Mo taps to a kimura. After the fight, Barnett allows Mo a free shot to the groin, though Mo doesn't give nearly as hard as he received.
Josh Barnett (25-5) def. Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga (3-2) via submission (kimura) R1
Round 1: Dida's first kick grazes Noons in the cup and he takes a minute to recover. They restart and Dida begins slapping away with more kicks, but missing with his overhand rights. Noons pressing forward, snapping his left jab out but keeping the right hand at bay. Beginning to let the right hand go, Noons starts punishing the body of Dida with sharp shots. Winging left connects to the head of Dida, followed by more rib roasting by Noons. Referee confusingly cautions both fighters, wanting more action. Dida grabs the Thai plum and throws a single knee that connects, then resumes backpedaling. Noons, the aggressor, continues to punish the ribcage and breadbasket to the end of the frame.
Round 2: Dida zooms across the ring at the bell, but misses the mark with a flying knee. Dida sends a sharp jab down the pipe, Noons answers with a flurry to the body. Noons is keeping active but not landing anything of substance as Dida tries to counter-strike. Noons can be heard saying "what the fuck, man?" to his corner. 90 seconds left and Noons appears to be on his way to a decision win. Dida still refusing to engage even as Noons comes forward with combinations and knees. And it's a wrap.
BloodyElbow.com sees the bout for K.J. Noons
K.J. Noons (8-2) def. Andre "Dida" Amado (6-4-1) via unanimous decision
Round 1: It's Chonan commanding center ring as Nakahara circles the outside. Nakahara slips throwing a kick and Chonan chases him to the mat. Nakahara ties his man up in a high guard near the ropes for a moment, and the referee repositions them in the middle. Now Chonan stands up from Nakahara's closed guard and sends bombs downward at the karateka's head and body. Diving back in, Chonan's able to get to half guard, but stalls out. Chonan almost has Nakahara in a full crucifix, but Chonan's right leg is still trapped in half guard. Chonan briefly moves to side control, but they stall out once more and it's back to the feet. Shortly before the round ends, Nakahara catches Chonan flush with a kick to the pills, but Chonan recovers after a moment.
Round 2: Nakahara outstriking Chonan through the first half of the round, alternately cracking the Piranha with solid rights, kicks to the body and knees from the clinch. With just over a minute left, Chonan gets Nakahara back to the floor, mounts simultaneously and begins pounding away. He can't put Nakahara away, though, and it'll go to the judges.
BloodyElbow.com sees the bout for Ryo Chonan
Ryo Chonan (17-10) def. Andrews Nakahara (2-2) via unanimous decision
Maeda pressing the action with body/head combos early on, then connects with a huge uppercut, but Escovedo doesn't flinch. The American keeping Maeda at range with front kicks and head kicks. Maeda rushes in with a wild flying knee that doesn't connect. Escovedo fakes an inside thigh kick which doubles Maeda over, then connects with a devastating left roundhouse right to the mush of the Japanese fighter. Maeda goes out cold, falling backward as Escovedo dives into mount and the ref pulls him off. Stunning win for the "Apache Kid."
Cole Escovedo (16-4) def. Yoshiro Maeda (26-8-2) via KO (head kick) R1 2:29
Kikuno presses forward early with a round kick and flurry of punches to the backpedaling Hironaka. They clinch against the ropes briefly with Kikuno shooting some knees up the gut before the ref breaks it up. More kicks from the karateka now. Kikuno backs Hironaka into the ropes and doubles him over with a right kick to the gut. The follow-up punch from Kikuno snaps Hironaka's head violently from left to right and it's the end of the night for the Cage Force champion.
Katsunori Kikuno (13-2-2) def. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (16-7) via KO (punch) R1 1:26
Round 1: Minowa shoots on the left leg of Ambriz and shrimps beneath the massive fighter. Ambriz puts Minowa flat on his back and moves to half guard on the right side. Minowa stands and Ambriz ragdolls him back to the ground. Ambriz moves in and locks up and arm-triangle, but it's loose and Minowa escapes. Now Minowa on all fours with Ambriz riding him on the right side, peppering the Japanese fighter with punches. Minowa continues to absorb the punches, stands momentarily, but is quickly reintroduced to the mat. Despite Ambriz' dominant position, the referee stands the fighters up and issues Minowa a yellow card for stalling. Three minutes left in the opening frame. Minowa connects with a left hook that stumbles Ambriz, but Minowa backs out. A few more shots connect for Minowa, but it's one punch at a time and some leg kicks to close out the round.
Round 2: Ambriz looking worn as the second round begins. Minowa lands a few more left hands before Ambriz decides to take him down. Referee stops the action momentarily to clean blood from Ambriz' nose, and they resume in center ring with Ambriz in half guard. Ambriz mounts, but Minowa reverses! From the guard of Ambriz, Minowa fakes a punch and dives for the leg of his opponent. Ambriz hesitates for a moment, then taps to the toe hold.
Ikuhisa Minowa (45-30-8) def. Jimmy Ambriz (14-13-1) via submission (toe hold) R2 2:42