It wouldn’t be a DREAM event if there wasn’t a whole lot of mystery, misdirection and general confusion about exactly who’s going to be fighting, and that’s exactly what’s happening with May 29th’s ‘DREAM: Fight For Japan’ show.
This time round the confusion centers upon who will be fighting Japanese star Shinya Aoki at the event. Over the past few weeks a series of fighters have been linked, or even officially confirmed, as being Aoki’s opponent, only for them to be ruled out one way or another.
Jamie Varner, Antonio Mckee and most recently Shane Nelson have all been reported in the media, only to be then dismissed for one reason or another.
The latest ex-UFC fighter to be confirmed is Rich Clementi, with various sources claiming that verbal agreements are in place.
The 35 Clementi is a veteran of 60 professional fights, including 10 in the UFC’s Octagon where he went 5-5. Since leaving in early 2009 he’s went on to fight for a variety of different promotions including brief stints in Bellator, Titan FC and King Of The Cage, posting a mixed record of 7-5 over that period to take his career record to 40-19-1.
Aoki on the other hand holds a 27-5 (1nc) record and after a disappointing performance against Gilbert Melendez for Strikeforce he’s bounced back with a four fight winning streak in MMA competition, winning three of them by first round submission.