DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix UpdateThe 2010 DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix has begun to take shape with the confirmation of three well-known participants. Former Strikeforce champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral and multi-promotion veteran “The African Assassin” Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou will join Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi in the 205-pound tournament.

Mousasi captured the DREAM Middleweight Championship last year, but vacated the title to move up in weight. He has since beaten both Sokoudjou and Sobral and became Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.

Mousasi (28-2-1) has won 15 straight fights dating back to an August 2006 loss to “The Japanese Sensation” Akihiro Gono at PRIDE Bushido 12. All but two of his victories have come by stoppage and he is widely regarded as one of the fastest-rising stars in mixed martial arts. Mousasi became DREAM Middleweight Champion by defeating four opponents in last year’s DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix and later became Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion with a one-minute knockout of Sobral. He will now look to add even more title gold to his growing collection.

Sobral (35-8-0) has competed for many of the biggest promotions in the sport during his 12-year career and holds big victories over Sokoudjou, Trevor Prangley, Jeremy Horn and current UFC title contenders Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen. Since being exiled by the UFC in 2007, Sobral has won four of his five fights and became Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion in late 2008 by defeating Bobby Southworth. He lost the title in his first defence against Mousasi at Strikeforce: “Carano vs Cyborg” last August and has not competed since.

Sokoudjou (7-6-0) became an instant sensation after back-to-back knockouts of Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira and Ricardo Arona at PRIDE 33 and 34, respectively, but has struggled since then. Winning just once in three Octagon appearances, Sokoudjou moved on to Affliction, but was submitted by Sobral in their January 2009 matchup. Sokoudjou advanced to the finals of the 2009 DREAM Super Hulk Tournament, but was defeated by perennial underdog Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa in the finals. He has dropped two straight and a third loss would be disastrous.

The 2010 DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix is currently set to begin at Dream.15, which is expected to take place on May 30th. A location and venue have not yet been named. MMAjunkie.com and MMAFighting.com were first to report on the additions to the tournament earlier today.


(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)