DREAM 11 is now in the record books and there were a mixture of surprises and expected victories on the night as well as a little controversy. Here’s a brief round-up of the action…
As you would expect Ikuhisa Minowa had some difficulties with Hong Man Choi’s size advantage in the first of the evenings Super Hulk semi-finals. Though never in serious danger he was on occasion caught be the knees of the taller man who barely needed to lift them in order to make contact with Minowaman’s head. In true david VS Techno Goliath fashion though Minowa did eventually find a way to keep his opponent on the ground long enough to lock in the heel hook in the second round much to the delight of the crowd.
Meanwhile no-one will be shocked to hear that Sokoudjou made short work of Bob Sapp who was curled up in a ball within the first minute forcing a referee stoppage. Minowa and Sokoudjou will now face each other in an intriguing Super Hulk final later in the year.
Featherweight Grand-Prix: Semi-Final / Final
After his shock victory in the previous round Joe Warren went into tonights featherweight semi-final marked as the bookies favourite but Bibiano Fernandes had other ideas and locked in an armbar as Warren took the fight to the ground early in the first round. The end to the fight was controversial with Warren claiming he didn’t tap whilst Fernandes appeared to expend more energy insulting Warren after the fight than he did claiming the victory.
In the other semi-final Hiroyuki Takaya was the aggressor in his bout with Hideo Tokoro and, after surviving a brief onslaught from Tokoro that appeared to trouble him, looked to have the job done at the end of the round but was beaten by the bell. He did not have to wait long in round two however before finally dispatching him by TKO to progress to the final later in the evening.
Fittingly the final between Tokoro and Fernandes proved to be the fight of the night. It was a closely contested affair throughout with both men having their moments. Despite both fighters best efforts, including a toe-to-toe exchange in the dying moments, the bout went to a decision with Bibiano Fernandes getting the nod to become the DREAM featherweight grand prix winner.
In another entertaining fight Shinya Aoki appeared to be rocked by a series of up-kicks from Norwegian Joachim Hansen but one was found to be an illegal strike to the groin giving the fighter five minutes to recover. He gladly took it and then went on to secure an armbar submission in the dying seconds of the fight.
In the remaining bouts it was no great surprise to find that Tatsuya Kawijiri was too much for the less accomplished Melchor Manibusan, finishing him quickly via punches from the top position. 40 year old Kazuchi Sakuraba meanwhile peppered professional boxer Rubin Williams (making his MMA debut) with kicks in the initial exchanges before taking him to the ground, passing is guard effortlessly and locking in an easy Kimura. Earlier in the evening, Kazuyuki Miyata claimed a victory over Daiki Hata by Unanimous Decision.
DREAM 11 Full Results:
Shinya Aoki defeats Joachim Hansen via Submission (Armbar) in round 2
Kazushi Sakuraba defeats Rubin Williams via Submission (Kimura) in round 1
Tatsuya Kawajiri defeats Melchor Manibusan via TKO (Punches) in round 1
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou defeats Bob Sapp via TKO (Punches) in round 1
Ikuhisa Minowa defeats Hong Man Choi via Submission (Heel Hook) in round 1
Bibiano Fernandes defeats Joe Warren via Submission (Armbar) in round 1
Hiroyuki Takaya defeats Hideo Tokoro via TKO (Punches) in round 2
Kazuyuki Miyata defeats Daiki Hata via Unanimous Decision