"Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura, Michihiro Omigawa, Hiroyuki Takaya and Mitsuhiro Ishida at today's press conference in Tokyo. Photo by GBRing.
A trio of bouts have been officially added to September 25's "DREAM.16" card, all three in or around the promotion's recently-defined featherweight division.
Yoshida Dojo product Michihiro Omigawa (11-8-1) will look to stretch his current win streak to five against former Tachi Palace Fights 135-pound ace Cole Escovedo (16-5). Escovedo dropped his title to rising prospect Michael McDonald in July, his first loss since returning to MMA in 2009 after a spinal staph infection threatened to end his career. Omigawa was originally slated to take on Bellator champ Joe Warren, but that match fell through when Warren and the promotion could not agree on terms.
The man whom Warren upset to kick off his MMA career, former WEC bantamweight champ Chase Beebe (13-6), will make a return trip to Japan. Beebe meets DREAM 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix finalist Hiroyuki Takaya (13-8-1), who stopped a two-fight skid in May by knocking out Joachim Hansen.
Strikeforce lightweight vet Mitsuhiro Ishida (19-6-1) continues his campaign at featherweight following a successful 145-pound debut against Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata in July. The "Endless Fighter" meets another colorful competitor this time around in "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura (11-5-1), the pink-haired Shootor who returned from a ten-month absence -- during which he began training at Matt Hume's AMC Pankration gym in Washington -- to knock out Hideo Tokoro at DREAM.14 in May.
Both Omigawa-Escovedo and Ishida-Nishiura are set to be contested at 65kg (143 lbs.), while Takaya and Beebe will meet at 64kg (141 lbs.).
During a press conference today, DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara also told reporters that the promotion is in the final stages of negotiations for Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (18-3) to participate. "Kid" was rumored to face the aforementioned TPF bantamweight champ Michael "Mayday" McDonald before the WEC snapped McDonald up.