Despite being only two days away you could be forgiven for not being quite sure exactly who is still fighting on the DREAM 11 card thanks to changes as late as yesterday to the line-up.
As you’d expect from a Japanese fight card there’s some eyebrow-raising bouts. A very late addition to the card sees the return of ageing veteran Kazuchi Sakuraba who has been given an unlikely opponent in the shape of professional boxer Rubin Williams (a one time rising star who has since slumped to six consecutive defeats) who will be competing in his first ever MMA bout.
Also, adding to his increasingly comical career, 320lb Bob Sapp stands in for the injured Gegard Mousasi against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the semi-finals of the Super Hulk tournament just one day (yes, I said one day) before he is due to also compete in a kickboxing bout.
Meanwhile 7′ 2 giant Hong Man Choi will be squaring off against 5′ 9 Ikuhisa Minowa (who beat Sapp in the previous round) in the other semi final.
There are some good old fashioned ‘normal’ bouts as well though, not least of which will be the DREAM Lightweight rubber match between Joachim Hansen (19-7-1) and Shinya Aoki (21-4-0). Check out the preview video for this anticipated fight at the bottom of this preview.
DREAM 11 also sees the conclusion of the Featherweight Grand Prix where American Greco-Roman Wrestling gold medalist Joe Warren takes on Brazilian Jui-Jitsu black belt Bibiano Fernandes in the first semi final whilst an all Japanese second semi final between former WEC fighter Hiroyuki Takaya and Hideo Tokoro will decide who moves on to the final later in the evening.
The card is rounded out by another late addition, a lightweight encounter between Tatsuya Kawajiri and Melchor Manibusan.
Check out the full line-up below and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for the video of the Hansen Vs Aoki bout.
DREAM Lightweight Championship:
Joachim Hansen vs Shinya Aoki
DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix Semi Final:
Joe Warren vs Bibiano Fernandes
Hiroyuki Takaya vs Hideo Tokoro
(Winner Semi Final 1 Vs Winner Semi Final 2)
DREAM Super Hulk Tournament:
Hong Man Choi vs Ikuhisa Minowa
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs Bob Sapp
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Melchor Manibusan
Kazuchi Sakuraba Vs Rubin Williams