Last night, while most of us were sleeping, DREAM.2 was going on over in Japan. The biggest and perhaps only really meaningful fight that occurred was Shinya Aoki vs. ‘JZ’ Calvacante. The rest of the fights were round-one bouts for DREAM’s Middleweight Grand Prix. Notable fighters participating included Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba, top ten middleweight Denis Kang, and BJJ phenom Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Quick results and thoughts after the jump.
- Shinya Aoki defeats Gesias Calvancante via Unanimous Decision
- Taiei Kin defeats Ikuhisa Minowa via Unanimous Decision
- Dong Sik Yoon defeats Shungo Oyama via Unanimous Decision
- Zelg Galesic defeats Magomed Sultanakhmedov via Submission (Armbar) in Round 1
- Ronaldo Souza defeats Ian Murphy via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 1
- Kiyoshi Tamura defeats Masakatsu Funaki via TKO (Strikes) in Round 1
- Gegard Mousasi defeats Denis Kang via Submission (Triangle Choke) in Round 1
- Kazushi Sakuraba defeats Andrews Nakahara via Submission (Neck Crank) in Round 1
I didn’t get to watch all the fights before they were taken down, but I did get to see the fights I was interested in.
Shinya Aoki was really impressive in his win over JZ. I really thought JZ would be end up physically overpowering Aoki, but that was not the case. Aoki was all over JZ for most of the fight. JZ landed a few blows—none that put Aoki in any serious danger—but spent most of the fight fending off Aoki’s submission attempts. Aoki pulled off a really sweet flying guard pull and almost ended the fight with an omoplata, which JZ was able to roll out of before he lost his arm. Aoki proved to be just too much in this rematch. Aoki would certainly be one of the favorites to win the tournament after his performance last night, but he’ll have to fight again in two weeks on May 11, which he has already said he is against if he were to advance.
The middleweight GP really isn’t all that intriguing, especially compared to the lightweight GP. The problem really is that, considering the fighters involved, it just doesn’t have any implications as far as the world’s middleweights go. Sakauraba pulled off the victory, but he’s past his prime at this point, and has taken so much punishment throughout his career, does he really need to be part of another tournament?
Denis Kang, one of the favorites to win the tournament, had a terrible fight against Gegard Mousasi. He basically fell into a triangle choke. It certainly wasn’t a top ten middleweight performance.
Then there was Ian Murphy who was matched up against Ronaldo Jacare. It was Murphy’s first professional fight (how did he get into this tournament again?) and it did not go well for him. Murphy never really had a chance. Once Jacare latched onto him, which didn’t take long, it was only a matter of time before he was able to submit him. As a Florida Gator, I do have to say his victory celebration was pretty damn sweet.
From what I saw, the event wasn’t too bad; it just wasn’t as good as DREAM.1 with the lightweights.
DREAM.1 will air this Friday night, May 2, on HDNet. DREAM.2 will air this Saturday night, May 3, on HDNet.