DREAM's 8-man Welterweight Grand Prix kicks off on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan, and though HDNet won't broadcast the show until next Friday, it will be airing live on SkyPerfect PPV for those with the bomb satellite hookups. As always, BloodyElbow.com will have live results, commentary and discussion - join us at 3 AM ET / 12 AM PT for the festivities.
Katsuyori Shibata (3-6-1) def. Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa (41-30-8) via Unanimous Decision
Andrews Nakahara (2-1) def. Shungo Oyama (7-12) via TKO (Punches) at 2:09 of Round 1
Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro (20-2) def. Katsuhiko Nagata (4-5-1) via TKO (Cut) at 7:58 of Round 1
Riki Fukuda (14-4) def. Murilo "Ninja" Rua (16-10-1) via Unanimous Decision
Jeff Monson (29-8) def. Sergei Kharitonov (16-4) via Submission (North-South Choke) at 1:42 of Round 1
Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata (11-5-3) def. Hideo Tokoro (21-16-1) via Unanimous Decision
Andre Galvao (3-0) def. John Alessio (24-13) via Submission (Armbar) at 7:34 of Round 1
Marius Zaromskis (9-2) def. Seichi Ikemoto (18-15-5) via Unanimous Decision
Jason High (7-1) def. Yuya Shirai (15-8) via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:59 of Round 1
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (35-8-2) def. Shinya Aoki (20-4) via KO (Knees) at 0:27 of Round 1
Round 1: Minowa connects with an overhand right, changes levels and, after a brief struggle, puts Shibata on his back. Minowaman in half guard, trying to pass while framing up a kimura on Shibata's right side. Shibata defending well; Minowa is forced to relenquish the sub attempt and now lays in half guard with neither fighter offering much in the way of offense. Midway through the round, the ref finally restarts the two wrestlers. Katsuyori Shibata is issued a yellow card for stalling, though it was surely Minowa who deserved it. Shibata with a right leg kick, but Minowa catches it and immediately goes down for the heel hook. Shibata goes for one of his own, and may have a better shot since Minowa is wearing wrestling shoes. Minowa gives up his attempt but Shibata retains his. Minowa rolling out, postures up and eats an upkick to the grill. Minowa passes to side control, but Shibata is less passive now, throwing up knees to Minowa's head from the bottom.
Round 2: Shibata stuffs a weak Minowa double leg to open the round but is taken down by the next one. Minowa once again does nothing from guard and the fighters are stood up. Minowa trying for a double again, but Shibata's back is against the ropes and he defends ably. Shibata turning it on now with knees to the midsection and wild haymakers. They clinch against the ropes briefly and scramble, and Shibata takes Minowa's back! Now on the floor, Shibata trying to loosen Minowa up for a choke with punches, but Minowa's able to roll and reverse into guard. They stand again and Shibata executes a huge German suplex just as the round expires! Ridiculous as it may be to say, that may have just won him the fight in the judges' eyes.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout for Katsuyori Shibata
Katsuyori Shibata def. Ikuhisa Minowa via Unanimous Decision
Round 1: Crisp low kicks from Nakahara early on. Oyama presses the Brazilian into the corner but throws himself to the ground attempting a judo throw. A moment later, Oyama repeats the mistake and this time Nakahara makes him pay with a stiff right hand that stuns the downed Oyama. Andrews pounces to finish the fight with more strikes, but Oyama is already turtling up and the ref steps in quickly. The replay shows that Oyama may have knocked himself a bit silly on his own when he fell to the mat.
Andrews Nakahara def. Shungo Oyama via TKO (Strikes) at 2:09 of Round 1
Round 1: Nagata flicking leg kicks early until Shaolin attempts a takedown, but instead winds up pulling guard. The Japanese fighter quickly moves to side control, but Ribeiro stands and a brief whizzer finds the Brazilian on top. Shaolin muscles Nagata into the corner, where the ref drags the pair back toward the center by Nagata's arm. Now the ref stands them and restarts them in the center, where Shaolin springs to life and quickly passes to side control on Nagata's right, but pushes into the corner again in the process. Nagata attempts to shrimp and stand, but Shaolin winds up in mount. Another restart in the center, Shaolin still in mount, just smothering Nagata. Back to side control for Shaolin now - Nagata isn't winning by any means but is doing an excellent job of neutralizing Shaolin's offense from his back. Shaolin with some knees from side control with two minutes left in the round, easily the best shots of the bout so far. The ref halts the action and... oh my. Nagata is bleeding profusely around the hairline above his right eye. This is going to get stopped. The doc steps in and...
Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro def. Katsuhiko Nagata via TKO (Cut) at 7:58 of Round 1
Round 1: Right hand from Ninja, and Fukuda answers with a straight of his own which sends the Brazilian backpedaling. He bounces off the ropes, playing possum, but the DEEP vet won't bite and they continue to circle. Rua ties Riki up against the ropes and cracks him with another right before tripping him down. Fukuda escapes and winds up standing over Rua, blasting him with a couple decent shots before Rua is able to stand. Fukuda pressing forward, connects with a right that staggers Ninja! Then a left, then another right, big overhand shots from Fukuda. Ninja ties him up and pulls guard, trying for an armbar, then a leglock, but Fukuda slips them both and the pair stand again. Ninja muscling Fukuda into the corner, changes levels for a double leg but it's stuffed. Rua with a waistlock in the corner, shooting knees to the side of Fukuda and sneaking left hands under the Japanese fighter's arm. Fukuda is cut near his right eye and the ref wants the doctor to check it out. He's cleared to continue and they restart in center ring. Rua takes it back down with a slow-motion single leg, quickly passes to Fukuda's right side. A hammerfist from Rua appears to catch Fukuda, who turtles and gives up his back, but then recovers, stands and shucks Rua off. The ref stops the action to check the cut again; it doesn't look fight-ending (yet). And they resume. Now both fighters trading leather in center ring with some low kicks mixed in from Ninja. Fukuda shoots for a single now but is stuffed. Ninja with a Thai clinch and some hard knees up the middle. Both men looking somewhat gassed as the opening frame expires, but Ninja is the one still pressing forward.
Round 2: The fighters circle with Ninja low kicks the only offense in the opening 90 seconds. The ref calls for action; neither man seems in a rush to oblige. More leg kicks from Rua. Fukuda with a one-two combo that partially connects, then... nothing else. Rua ties up and takes some hard punches to the ribs as he has a takedown attempt stuffed. 90 seconds left and this is still anyone's fight. Fukuda suddenly comes to life with a wild looping left that stuns Rua, and Riki charges forward with more of the same. Ninja tries to tie up but Fukuda slips him and jogs to the other side of the ring as the bout ends.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout for Riki Fukuda
Riki Fukuda def. Murilo "Ninja" Rua via Unanimous Decision
Round 1: Monson shoots immediately and latches on to the left leg of Sergei. The Russian defends well at first, but Monson quickly passes to side control, then into position for a north-south choke. Monson continues to apply the choke as Sergei pounds away at his head from the bottom. Monson is not relenting, and the choke does look deep. Sergei punching frantically... and he taps! Wow. Big win for Monson.
Jeff Monson def. Sergei Kharitonov via Submission (North-South Choke) at 1:42 of Round 1
Round 1: Taiki pressing forward on Tokoro with his akward, hunched over stance as Tokoro bounces around the perimeter. Snappy leg kick from Tokoro; Hata returns the favor and raises him a short left hand. Tokoro changes levels and attempts a takedown, but settles for pulling guard. Hideo trying to work rubber guard, but Taiki is smothering. Taiki stacks him up and lands a couple solid shots to the head as he stands and holds his man's feet. The ref stands them in the center and takes a moment to fix an issue with Taiki's glove. The action resumes and Taiki is still the one pressing forward, though not really the agressor per se. Flying knee from Tokoro out of the corner connects a little, at least it backed Hata up. Tokoro hits Taiki with a right which, combined with a trip, puts Hata on his ass. But Hata bounces back up and floors Tokoro with a right hand of his own. (Both knockdowns in the span of about 5 seconds.) Two minutes left. Tokoro is still on his bike, but Taiki is catching him with some solid shots on his way out. Tokoro shoots for a single and walks Taiki backwards around the ring. Hata sprawls and connects with a couple knees to the head of Tokoro. Back to the feet, Tokoro tries another flying knee and eats a left for his troubles. A wild exchange ends with a cracking right hand and Tokoro turtling on the ground as he's saved by the bell.
Round 2: Hata opens the round with a slam and quickly assumes back control of Tokoro, who's clutching Hata's right arm. Taiki breaks free and begins raining down punches from Tokoro's guard, then stands over his foe and dives forward, swinging away, where Tokoro ties up his arms. Hata escapes and stands over Tokoro until the ref restarts them on the feet. Tokoro begins unloading with a series of punches which stun Taiki, before switching levels and looking for a double leg. The ref stops the action to check out Taiki's right eye, which I believe was injured in his FWGP qualifying bout (thus pushing this match to DREAM.8) and is cut again now. Nothing too severe, and they're restarted. Hata with a quick takedown and some solid g'n'p with a minute left. Hata mounts Tokoro, then backs off and stands, dodging an upkick and lunging forward with some shots to seal the deal as the bell sounds.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout for Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata
Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata def. Hideo Tokoro via Unanimous Decision
Hata advances to the 2nd round of the DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix at DREAM.9
Round 1: Galvao keeping Alessio at bay early with some snappy left jabs. Galvao changes levels to shoot, then rolls to guard as Alessio literally jumps away. Now the Brazilian attaches himself to Alessio's right leg, and takes his back as Alessio stands. Knees to the back of the thigh from Galvao as Alessio tries to peel his right arm from around his waist. Big suplex from Galvao, who immediately takes the Canadian's back and sinks his hooks in, working for the rear naked choke and loosening Alessio up with punches to the head. Body triangle locked on for Galvao now, he leans back and begins to punish a covering Alessio with HARD shots from back mount. More and more hammerfists from the back now, and Alessio has ceased firing any back. The ref warns Galvao about hitting to the back of the head; he relents altogether, and resumes looking for the choke. Galvao gets up high on Alessio's back and isolates his left arm, then rolls through for the armbar attempt with three minutes remaining. Alessio is on his knees, leaning forward, essentially in a crucifix with his arms trapped between Galvao's legs. When Alessio tries to step over, Galvao straightens the arm out and immediately forces the tap.
Andre Galvao def. John Alessio via Submission (Armbar) at 7:34 of Round 1
Round 1: Zaromskis comes right out with a wild spinning heel kick which is caught handily by Ikemoto. A pair of low kicks nearly take the legs out from uner Zaromskis, but Ikemoto is reckless coming forward into the ropes and allows Marius to find his footing. Nice trip takedown into side control from Ikemoto, who lands a few nice knees to the head before Marius works back to the feet. Another low kick buckles the left leg of Zaromskis, who throws a kick right back. Teep kick from Ikemoto, but Zaromskis walks through it and connects with a right straight. Marius trips Ikemoto down and into side control, now he lands somem knees to the head before standing and motioning for the Japanese fighter to do the same. A flailing exchange on the feet, couldn't tell how much landed, but Ikemoto caps it off with a nice, though partially blocked, head kick. Ikemoto gaining confidence, looking at Marius sideways in a hands-down stance. He's flicking out his jab and front kicks with more frequency now to keep Zaromskis at a distance. Flying knee to the body by Marius, but he doesn't follow up. Now Zaromskis strings together some nice kicking combos and scores with a straight right that momentarily buckles Ikemoto. Left high kick from Zaromskis looks to connect squarely, but Ikemoto shakes it off. Marius is pouring it on in the latter half of this round. 30 seconds left, both men looking pretty worn as the first frame draws to a close.
Round 2: Left high kick from Ikemoto blocked. Ikemoto drops for a takedown but winds up with Zaromskis behind his back, then flops to guard. Marius assesses the situation, steps back, turns around and attempts a FLYING BACKFLIP GUARD PASS which has no effect but is undeniably awesome and draws "ooohs" from the crowd. Then some stuff happens which is not flying backflips, and Ikemoto is in Marius' guard, pounding away. Zaromskis muscles out and back to the feet. Ikemoto tries a takedown - stuffed. Zaromskis returns the favor - Ikemoto turtles up. 20 seconds remaining. Right hand from Marius. Then a left. Then a right. Head kick. More punches. Zaromskis bullies Ikemoto into the corner and blasts him with knees, but Ikemoto just won't go down and the bout ends.
BloodyElbow.com scores the bout for Marius Zaromskis
Marius Zaromskis def. Seichi Ikemoto via Unanimous Decision
Round 1: High floors Yuya with a cracking overhand left, takes his back and almost immediately sinks in a DEEP rear naked choke. Shirai refuses to tap and goes to sleep as the ref steps in to save him just a minute into the bout.
Jason High def. Yuya Shirai via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:59 of Round 1
Round 1: Mach rushes at the bell and the pair hit the floor immediately with Aoki in Sakurai's guard. Mach rolls Aoki onto his side in the corner and connects with three quick and brutal right knees to the head. Sakurai follows up with a trio of stiff right hands, but Aoki is already unconscious. Absolutely vicious stuff.
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai def. Shinya Aoki via KO (Knees) at 0:27 of Round 1