It was reported last week that Japanese submission ace Shinya Aoki would indeed be competing on Dream 17: Fight For Japan card on May 29th. His original opponent was supposed to be Willamy "Chiquerim" Friere, but Chiquerim had to withdraw due to visa issues. MMAWeekly is reporting that Aoki will stay on the card, and his two possible opponents each offer interesting stylistic challenges:
MMAWeekly.com initially reported that a fight between he and former MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee was on tap, as long as McKee could finalize his travel details. While that fight is very much still in play, our sources indicate that Dream is also negotiating with former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner.
It seems that both potential opponents have been issued bout agreements, due to the fact that McKee might have the same sort of visa issues that Friere had. If the former MFC lightweight champion is good to go, he'll get the fight. If not, it will fall to Varner. Varner is scheduled to compete against Tyler Combs in his first post-Zuffa matchup in Chicago at XFO 39 one week from today. It is unclear if he will still participate in that fight after being offered this one. In typical Dream fashion, this should all be cleared up in the 10-or-so days leading up to the May 29th event in Saitama.