The Year of the Featherweights begins tonight as DREAM kicks off its Featherweight Grand Prix with DREAM.7 at Saitama Super Arena. The show begins at 3 AM ET (about two hours after UFC 96 ends; don't forget to set your clocks forward an hour at 2 AM local time) and I'll be here to give you full play-by-play and commentary. I sincerely hope you'll stay up and join in the discussion for what should be a fantastic night/morning of small men doing battle.
And if you've got some time to kill before the night's festivities, why not try...
- Tony Loiseleur's notes from the pre-fight press conference
- Japan-MMA's DREAM.7 predictions
- Bloody Elbow's DREAM.7 Preview (Part One & Part Two)
- Nightmare Of Battle's traditional Final Preparations post
Not long until show time now, which means the actual fights should start in 40 minutes or so. Right now it's soothing beach scenes and smooth adult contemporary on SkyPerfect TV. The broadcast should be starting any minute.
We're live! The FWGP and DREAM FW Championship belts are chilling, looking nice and puroresu on a clothed table in the center of the ring. We're shown a short but stirring video tribute to the late Grand Master Helio Gracie, followed by a few words from Yuki Nakai and Kazushi Sakuraba (which I can't understand). Announcer Lenne Hardt (aka Screaming PRIDE Lady) announces that DREAM.7 is dedicated to the memory of Helio and the crowd is asked to observe a minute of silence in honor. It's a moving, classy and very appropriate way to begin the show.
Referee Yuji Shimada is introduced and promptly booed. Everything is back to normal.
DREAM.7 Quick Results
Bibiano Fernandes def. Takafumi Otsuka via Unanimous Decision
Joe Warren def. Chase Beebe via TKO (Cut) following Round 1
Abel Cullum def. Akiyo Nishiura via Unanimous Decision
Mitsuhiro Ishida def. Daisuke Nakamura via Unanimous Decision
Shinya Aoki def. David Gardner via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 5:58 of Round 1
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Ross Ebanez via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:04 of Round 1
Yoshiro Maeda def. Micah Miller via Unanimous Decision
Hiroyuki Takaya def. Kim Jong Won via KO (Punches) at 0:40 of Round 2
Masakazu Imanari def. Atsushi Yamamoto via Split Decision
Play-by-play follows in the full entry.