Melvin Manhoef vs Paulo Filho
More fights and results after the jump.
Shinya Aoki vs Vitor Ribeiro
Jesse Taylor vs Dong Sik Yoon
Andre Dida vs Katsunori Kikuno
Jason High vs Andre Galvao
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs Marius Zaromskis
Welterweight GP Final
More videos at Fight Hymn
There must have been a full moon over Japan on Monday night because everything didn’t go quite as expected.
To begin with, Shinya Aoki, instead of attempting to turn the fight into a grappling match at all costs, was intent on testing his developing striking skill set against fellow BJJ practitioner Vitor Ribeiro. Aoki spent the first 12 minutes of the fight using his length and reach advantage to outpoint Ribeiro with kicks and the occasional punch while fending off multiple takedown attempts. Aoki even landed a couple knees from the Muay Thai clinch (never thought I’d write that). Ribeiro was finally able to take Aoki down in the final minutes, however he was ineffective for the most part as Aoki neutralized his attacks with his guard and picked up the unanimous decision. Aoki’s striking has always been the gaping hole in his game. If he was fighting someone with solid stand-up skills, I’m sure we would have seen a much different game plan, but it was good to see he’s working on evolving his game. It may not be what we expected or wanted to see out of him, but he has to get better somehow and this was about as good as an opportunity as he’s going to get for real fight experience.
Paulo Filho seemed to be back to his old self. He faced the extremely dangerous striker Melvin Manhoef and nearly ended up like many of Manhoef’s victims—unconscious on the mat. On the feet, it was all Manhoef who eventually unloaded a vicious barrage of punches on Filho in the corner. Filho dropped to the canvas, but somehow was able to hang on and recover. Moments later, Filho secured the fight ending armbar.
Jesse Taylor (yes, JT Money from TUF 7 Jesse Taylor) made his DREAM debut against Dong Sik Yoon. Taylor didn’t waste anytime taking Yoon down, but had a bit of a tough time holding him there. Yoon would try and scramble out of it but Taylor didn’t let him break away, and during Taylor’s final take down attempt, Yoon’s ankle got twisted backwards causing the fight to be stopped. Taylor showed a little maturity for a change stopping as soon as he noticed Yoon was hurt and checked on him several times while doctors attended to Yoon’s injury.
In the Welterweight Grand Prix, Jason High and Andre Galvao fought hard for 15 minutes in their semi-final match. High dominated the stand-up but made the mistake of following Galvao to the ground after knocking him down in the first round. He spent the second half of the round in horrible positions fighting off submissions. He learned from his mistake in the second though, forcing Galvao to stand back up every time he put him down earning a close split decision victory.
High didn’t fare too well in the finals though. Marius Zaromskis, much like Eddie Alvarez and Gegard Mousasi did last year, put himself on the map with two huge victories in the final round of the grand prix. He faced tournament favorite “Mach” Sakurai in the semi’s and and decimated him. As soon as the bell rung, both fighters started swinging. Zaromskis landed the more damaging shots forcing Sakurai to go into survival mode. Sakurai was able to get Marius down but couldn’t keep there. Once it was back on the feet, Zaromskis landed more punches opening up bad cuts on Mach’s brow and cheek which temporarily stopped the fight while doctors attended to the cuts. Once it got back underway, Zaromskis finished what he started with a huge left high kick that landed clean on Sakurai’s neck stunning him long enough for Zaromskis to swarm and finish the fight. High was next, and Marius didn’t waste any time. In the opening minutes, he landing a huge right high kick that knocked High out cold leaving him laying there eyes open and unconscious for several minutes. Huge night for Marius Zaromskis.
- Marius Zaromskis defeats Jason High via Knockout (Head Kick) in Round One
- Shinya Aoki defeats Vitor Ribeiro via Unanimous Decision
- Jesse Taylor defeats Dong Sik Yoon via TKO (Ankle Injury) in Round One
- Paulo Filho defeats Melvin Manhoef via Submission (Armbar) in Round One
- Katsunori Kikuno defeats Andre Amade via TKO in Round One
- Jason High defeats Andre Galvao via Split Decision
- Marius Zaromskis defeats Hayato Sakurai via TKO (Head Kick and Strikes) in Round One
- Tarec Saffiedine defeats Seichi Ikemoto via Unanimous Decision