Dream 16 Preview
Mizuno has been training hard in the US under Matt Hume but I really don't think is going to help him out against Mousasi. Gegard is better in every area of the sport and I expect him to rock Mizuno on the feet to set up a submission rather early in the first round to win the LHW title. A win would likely set up a title shot against Feijao for him. Gegard via sub round 1.
Shinya Aoki vs Marcus Aurelio
One of the most intriguing fights on the card has Brazilian submission artist against the Baka Survivor. It's a fight similar to the highly anticipated Dream 10 match up between Aoki and "Shaolin". That fight, however, disappointed many as Aoki used a somewhat less flashy game plan and was able to control "Shaolin" from the top for the majority of the fight while out striking him in the process. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this fight happened to mimic the Dream 10 fight. Aurelio seems to have slowed down a bit in recent years and at 37 years old, this is a fight that Shinya Aoki can not afford to lose. I'll go against what many people are saying and pick a determined Aoki to finish this fight. Aoki via submission round 2.
Mayhem Miller vs Kazushi Sakuraba
I don't really like this fight at all for Saku. In my opinion he's in way over his head with a guy like Miller. Facing a very underrated grappler in Mayhem, I expect him to take a beating throughout the fight. I understand that having Saku is almost essential at this point for FEG, but for the love of God, just make him retire. I really hope this fight isn't a mirror image of what Arona was able to do to Sakuraba. While Arona's grappling credentials are leaps and bounds ahead of Mayhem's, the continuing aging of Sakuraba only makes me worry about him more and more. Mayhem via TKO round 2.
A very very important fight for Ishii, a loss here almost puts him into irrelevancy this early into his career. FEG didn't do him any favour by putting him against Minowaman, a guy who is a puzzle for any fighter, especially a newcomer to the sport. Ishii has been training with some good fighters (Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida) and I can only hope he's put some effort into his cardio. I expect Ishii to be on top of Minowa for most of the fight but as we've seen before, it only takes one slip up for Minowa to latch onto that leg. I'll let my heart pick this fight. Ishii via decision.
This is a fight that Takaya should win and actually needs to win to stay in contention for a rematch with Bibi. Realistically, I expect Takaya to be able to easily out strike Beebe and punish him from the feet while shrugging off any TD attempts from Beebe. Takaya via TKO round 2.
Escovedo is coming off an incredible knockout the last time he was in Japan but I feel like he is a little over his head in this one. Michihiro 2.0 is coming after that DREAM title with some passion and I don't expect Escovedo to be able to stop him. The vastly superior boxing of Omigawa should be enough to win this fight. I'm not sure if he'll be able to finish the American but either way it should be an entertaining affair. Omigawa via decision.
Another nightmare match up for Tokoro. FEG is not helping him at all by giving him a strong grappler with some serious power in his hands, feet and knees. A win for Hansen will put an end to his three fight losing streak and keep him relevant in the DREAM FW division. I see no other outcome in this fight than Tokoro getting knocked out the first time his chin is hit by Hansen. Hansen via KO round 1.
Powerful wrestler and specimen of a human being, Miyata, should win this fight with top control for the majority of the fight. However, in his last fight with Otsuka we saw him try and strike for a majority of the fight and almost lose a decision until a last minute takedown that sealed the fight. If Miyata tries to strike against Lion, I can't see this ending will for him. Perhaps the recent K-1 victory for Miyata will be in his mind and give him unneeded confidence in his stand up. A smart Miyata will win this fight. Miyata via decision.
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura
More questionable DREAM match making in this contest. Ishida, an incredibly strong wrestler should be able to ride out Wicky to a decision. I can't see him getting a sub against Wicky due to him being so squirmy on the ground and hard to latch on to. It's not that naive to think Wicky could potentially catch Ishida coming in and put him out but I wouldn't bet on it. Striker vs grappler, I think the grappler wins this one. Ishida via decision.
Yusuke Kawaguchi vs James Thompson
A last minute fight for Thompson, who flew over to Japan to fight Minowaman. I honestly know nothing about Kawaguchi so I'm just going to copy what Daniel Herbertson had to say about the fight.
DREAM did an excellent job in convincing the DEEP Megaton Champion Yusuke Kawaguchi to step in at the very last minute to face James Thompson. Thompson was left without an opponent when Satoshi Ishii was loaned out once again to FEG to face Minowa and Kawaguchi represents the most interesting opponent in Japan for him.
Kawaguchi is tough as nails, he hits hard and can take a hard hit and has been in some real wars throughout his career. His is a style that James Thompson will embrace. The fans will be the real winners here as both fighters beat each other senseless but Kawaguchi will take home the slightly larger trophy.Pick: Kawaguchi
Very excited for this card, I think its one of the best DREAM cards in recent memory and filled with exciting FW tilts. This was a last minute preview since BE was too busy to make one so excuse any spelling errors etc. Hope that this is helpful for you guys that have yet to tune into DREAM. Feel free to bash my picks and yell at me.