Zelg Galesić To Face Kazushi SakurabaWith Melvin Manhoef sidelined due to injury, Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba has stepped in on short notice to battle former Cage Rage British Middleweight Champion Zelg Galesić at Olympia Dream.12 on October 25th inside the confines of the “White Cage.”

Also rumoured to be a part of the card is a heavyweight bout between reigning Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem and former PRIDE and Cage Rage mainstay James “The Colossus” Thompson.

Sakuraba (25-12-1, 2 NC) last competed less than two weeks ago at Heiwa Dream.11 and picked up a quick submission victory over professional boxer Rubin Williams. He will make a hasty return to action and will be a part of the historic event for DREAM, which will be contested entirely inside a white cage.

Galesić (9-4-0) has never gone the distance in his career and made it to the semi-finals of the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix last year. He was submitted by eventual runner-up Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza, but remains as one of the top strikers in the middleweight division.

Fans have urged Sakuraba to retire for many years, due to the amount of punishment that he has taken throughout his career, and this will be another tough fight for the aging legend against a young and talented striker with knockout power.

While Galesić has fought inside a cage many times before, it will be interesting to see how Sakuraba adapts to a structure that he has not competed in since UFC: “Ultimate Japan 1” in 1997.


Though not yet officially confirmed, heavyweight star Alistair Overeem is expected to face James Thompson in a featured bout.

Overeem (30-11-0, 1 NC) defeated Tony Sylvester two days ago on October 17th and will be competing for the second time in just over one week. He has not lost since 2007 and still holds the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, though he has yet to defend the title.

Thompson (14-10-0) has only gone the distance one time in his career, and that was back in 2004 in a five-round title fight against MMA pioneer Dan “The Beast” Severn. When fans sit down to watch a Thompson fight, they can be assured that someone will be knocked out.

Unfortunately for Thompson, however, he has been on the wrong end of the punches in seven of his last ten fights and desperately needs a win to remain relevant at all in the sport. He was most recently defeated by “Big” Jim York at Sengoku: “Seventh Battle” in March.


Olympia Dream.12: “The Cage of the Rising Sun” takes place on October 25th at Osaka Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan.