DREAM.3 is now in the books. Three quarterfinal matches in DREAM’s Lightweight Grand Prix took place as well as a welterweight title contender bout between Nick Diaz and Katsuya Inoue and a middleweight grand prix round match between Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller and Katsuyori Shibata. Melvin Mahoef and Kim Dae Won squared off in a middleweight grand prix reserve bout.
I don’t have HDNet so I didn’t get to see the show in its entirety, but I caught quite a few of the fights on the internet. The fights I saw were very entertaining particularly the one many are calling a fight of the year candidate.
Thoughts and results after the jump.
Lightweight Grand Prix
Caol Uno pulled off the upset against Mitsuhiro Ishida with a rear naked choke submission in the second round to advance into the semifinals of the tournament. Tatsuya Kawajiri also advanced to the next round with a unanimous-decision victory over Luiz Firmino.
I was worried the fiasco that Nick Diaz went through last week was going to affect him in his fight against Katsuya Inoue. It didn’t. Despite arriving late in Japan for the fight, Nick Diaz was back in form after two disappointing performances against Mike Aina and KJ Noons in his last two outings. He looked sharp in his stand-up game and just flat out beat his opponent up. He took quite a few shots himself, but he kept pressing forward and eventually forced his opponent’s corner to throw in the towel almost seven minutes into the first round.
Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller
Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller could be the next star in Japan. Not only did he dominate Katsuyori Shibata, but he put on a show for the Japanese in doing so.
Donning zebra-striped tights, Mayhem played to the crowd and the cameras, and landed some solid shots to start the fight. Mayhem was able to get a mount and work some ground-and-pound and knees to the head until the referee stopped the fight. By the way, the unified rules really need to drop the elbows and pick up the knees to a grounded opponent, but that’s for another post.
Mayhem had the Japanese crowd laughing during his post-fight comments, but he was yelling in Japanese so I’m not sure what he said.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Joachim Hansen – Fight of the Year?
Eddie Alvarez and Joachim Hansen really stole the show. Many are calling their match a fight of the year candidate. At this point in the year, I would have to agree. It was a great fight. I don’t think it will end up winning—and I would probably go with Cung Le/Frank Shamrock if I had to vote right now—but it was still an incredible fight.
The first round was full of exchanges between the combatants, with Alvarez getting the better of most of them and scoring a couple knockdowns. Hansen showed his toughness, though. He came out in the second and nearly caught Eddie in an armbar, but Alvarez was able to roll out and escape, and went on to win by unanimous decision to advance to the semifinals.
Eddie Alvarez really just impresses me more and more every time I see him fight. He really looks like he belongs at lightweight and has a very bright future ahead of him if he keeps it up. Find this fight if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s worth it, trust me.
- Jason Miller def. Katsuyori Shibata via TKO (Strikes) in Round 1
- Nick Diaz def. Katsuya Inoue TKO (Threw in Towel, Strikes) in Round 1
- Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Luiz Firmino via Unanimous Decision
- Eddie Alvarez def. Joachim Hansen via Unanimous Decision
- Caol Uno def. Mitsuhiro Ishida via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 2
- Melvin Manhoef def. Dae Won Kim via TKO (Strikes) in Round 1
- Daisuke Nakamura def. Bu Kyung Jung via Knockout (Punch) in Round 2
- Takeshi Yamazaki defeats Shoji Maruyama via Unanimous Decision