After Shinya Aoki hinted that his opponent for DREAM's NYE event has already been selected, BloodyElbow.com reached out, and has exclusively confirmed DREAM's plans for their lightweight champion's next challenge. Sources close to the fighter tell us that Aoki's opponent will likely be former Sengoku lightweight champion and grand prix winner, Satoru Kitaoka.
Aoki and Kitaoka have been good friends for quite some time, and since at least one party has already agreed to the bout, it looks like that friendship won't stop them from competing against each other. Both fighters have lengthy win streaks in MMA, with Aoki winning six in a row, and Kitaoka winning four straight bouts.
[UPDATE] - I have just received word that both fighters have signed the contracts, and the Aoki vs. Kitaoka fight is 100% confirmed for New Year's Eve.
Another big news item coming out of the Asian MMA scene is the DREAM and ONE FC partnership being finalized. We have confirmed through sources close to the situation that the deal has been officially been closed when DREAM owner, Kato, went to Singapore this past week. BloodyElbow.com first reported on it being close to a done deal last month.
Much like their other partnership deals with promotions such as the URCC, and Road FC, the deal will include fighter sharing, and co-promoted events between DREAM and ONE FC. Press releases to officially announce this deal are expected to be out in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more updates as it becomes available.