Dream.15 Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe DREAM Lightweight Championship was up for grabs tonight when champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki finally squared off with top contender Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri. The long-awaited matchup headlined Dream.15 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Also on the card, the DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix kicked off when Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi faced “Irish” Jake O’Brien and Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef took on Tatsuya Mizuno. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the abbreviated seven-fight event.


DREAM Lightweight Championship

Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki vs Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri

Round 1:
Aoki shot in early and latched onto Kawajiri’s leg. He secured a tight heel hook and switched to an achilles lock that had Kawajiri in significant danger. Kawajiri kicked at Aoki’s head, but could not escape. Aoki rolled to his side and torqued back on the achilles lock and Kawajiri was finally forced to submit. Quick and very impressive victory for Aoki, while Kawajiri appeared to be injured and remained down for quite some time.

Following the fight, Aoki announced that he would be getting married soon, then added that he will be fighting again at Dream.16 in September in Nagoya, Japan.

Winner: Shinya Aoki by Submission (Achilles Lock) at 1:53 of round one. He improves to 24-5-0, 1 NC and remains the DREAM Lightweight Champion.


Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante vs Katsunori Kikuno

Round 1:
Kikuno landed kicks and a jumping knee to the body early on and Cavalcante clinched. He landed a knee of his own, but Kikuno backed him into the corner. The fighters were separated and Kikuno scored with a body kick. Cavalcante clinched and Kikuno put him in the corner again. Once more, the fighters were separated and Cavalcante scored a big takedown. Kikuno scrambled back to his feet and just missed with a knee. Cavalcante circled to the side and landed a leg kick.

Kikuno answered with his patented crescent kick to the liver. Another kick landed to the body of Cavalcante. And another. A one-two followed for Kikuno and he stuffed a takedown. Cavalcante got him down on the second try and tried to pass to mount. Kikuno kept Cavalcante’s leg locked down and Cavalcante threw short punches from Kikuno’s half-guard. A scramble ensued and Kikuno stood. He landed a one-two and stuffed a takedown. Kikuno landed a knee to the body and the fighters were separated.

Cavalcante sent Kikuno off-balance with a counter left hook and clinched once more. Kikuno reversed and tripped Cavalcante to the mat. The fight was moved to the centre of the ring and Kikuno struck from the top as Cavalcante tried to set up a submission. He got back to his feet and was cracked by a left hand and a body kick from Kikuno. A clinch followed and the fighters became tangled in the ropes. Kikuno landed a body kick and punches before the bell. Very even round.

Round 2:
Kikuno threw a lead left hook early in round two and was cracked by a counter right. He landed a body kick, but Cavalcante took him down and moved to mount. Kikuno nearly swept him, but Cavalcante stayed on top. Kikuno gave up his back and Cavalcante secured a neck crank. Kikuno defended as Cavalcante locked on a body triangle to prevent Kikuno from moving.

Cavalcante briefly released the body triangle in order to throw heel strikes to the body, then tried for a rear-naked choke. Kikuno scrambled and the fighters were briefly trapped in the ropes. Kikuno tried to shake Cavalcante off, but could not. Kikuno rolled over and attempted to escape out the back, but Cavalcante maintained the body triangle. Kikuno finally escaped and landed a knee just as the bell sounded.

Winner: Gesias Cavalcante by Split Decision after two rounds. He improves to 15-3-1, 1 NC.


DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Bout

Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi vs “Irish” Jake O’Brien

Round 1:
O’Brien immediately shot in for a takedown to begin the fight and managed to get Mousasi down very briefly. Mousasi locked on a guillotine choke from his back and quickly stood up. The choke was very tight and O’Brien immediately tapped out. Extremely impressive win for Mousasi.

Winner: Gegard Mousasi by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:31 of round one. He improves to 29-3-1 and advances on in the DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.


DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Bout

Tatsuya Mizuno vs Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef

Round 1:
Mizuno shot in early on for a takedown, but ate a big right hand. Manhoef drilled him with more hard punches, but Mizuno stayed on his feet and threw a kick. Manhoef flurried and Mizuno backed up, then tried for another takedown. Manhoef defended and unloaded with punches. Mizuno held strong, but was finally dropped by a right hook. Manhoef threw punches and hammerfists with his left hand and avoided an armbar attempt from Mizuno.

Manhoef stood and backed away. Mizuno rose to his feet and landed a nice left cross, then clinched for a takedown. He got Manhoef down against the ropes and the referee moved the fighters to the middle of the ring. Mizuno struck from the top and passed to half-guard. He threw punches to Manhoef’s ribs and very briefly moved to mount, then settled for side-control. Manhoef tried to scramble out and Mizuno secured a keylock. Manhoef escaped, but Mizuno stayed active from side-control.

Mizuno began to land knees to the head as he worked again for the keylock. He switched to a straight armbar, then back to the keylock. Mizuno spun into an armbar and Manhoef used the opportunity to escape to his feet. He rained down punches and then backed away. Mizuno stood and floored Manhoef in the corner. Manhoef appeared to be unconscious briefly, but the referee allowed the fight to continue as Mizuno unloaded with punches. Mizuno secured a Kimura and Manhoef tapped out. Amazing upset win for Mizuno.

Winner: Tatsuya Mizuno by Submission (Kimura) at 7:38 of round one. He improves to 8-5-0 and advances on in the DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.


Michihiro Omigawa vs Young Sam Jung

Round 1:
Omigawa opened the fight with a combination and stuffed a takedown, then landed a pair of left hands. Jung answered with a counter right and rushed forward with a flurry of punches that missed. Omigawa ducked under a combination and stunned Jung with a right hand. He floored him with a follow-up punch and unleashed hammerfists and punches on the ground. Jung held on and tried for a shoulder lock from the bottom. He let it go and Omigawa moved to half-guard.

Jung tried to scramble, but Omigawa locked on a tight guillotine choke. Jung managed to escape and stood up, only to be slammed down again. Omigawa landed knees to the head and postured up as Jung rolled to his back. He quickly transitioned into an armbar and Omigawa was forced to hastily scramble free. Omigawa regained his composure and landed two punches from the top before the referee stood the fighters up and gave Jung a Yellow Card.

The fighters traded punches and Omigawa connected with left hands. He walked forward with winging punches and drilled Jung with two looping right hooks that prompted Jung to pull guard. Jung tried for a triangle choke from his back, but Omigawa passed to half-guard. He secured a guillotine choke from the top and moved to mount. The choke was very tight and Jung was forced to quickly tap out.

Winner: Michihiro Omigawa by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 7:31 of round one. He improves to 11-8-1.


“The Endless Fighter” Mitsuhiro Ishida vs Daiki “DJ.taiki” Hata

Round 1:
Ishida scored an early takedown and landed in Hata’s half-guard. He threw short punches to the body and tried to set up an arm-triangle choke. Ishida abandoned the choke attempt and passed to side-control. Once again, Ishida locked on an arm-triangle choke, but let it go and moved to a top crucifix position. He landed punches and spun into an armbar. Hata scrambled and escaped, then stood up. Ishida landed a leg kick and Hata cracked him with a left hand.

Ishida slipped, but got back to his feet and Hata threw front kicks. Ishida caught one and took Hata down. He punished Hata with four punches from the top and Hata scrambled up once again. Ishida took him back down near the ropes and the fighters were moved to the centre of the ring. Ishida landed knees to the body from side-control. He did not allow Hata any room to move and tried to pass straight to mount, but Hata managed to regain half-guard in the process.

Ishida passed to side-control again and threw hammerfists. He took Hata’s back in a scramble and looked to set up a rear-naked choke. Hata spun free and Ishida stood over him. He avoided upkicks from Hata and returned to his guard. Another scramble followed and Ishida took Hata’s back again. Hata defended choke attempts as Ishida landed heel strikes to the thigh. Ishida moved to side-control and landed knees and punches as Hata stood at the bell. Dominant round for Ishida.

Round 2:
Hata refused to touch gloves in round two and aggressively pushed forward with a body kick, but Ishida caught it and took him down. Hata cut Ishida on the ear with punches from his back, but Ishida was unfazed and landed some hard punches from the top. He evaded a triangle choke attempt and took Hata’s back. Hata defended and spun, but Ishida used the opportunity to move to mount.

Ishida, with his ear damaged and still bleeding, worked from the top and tried to set up an arm-triangle choke. He took Hata’s back and worked for a rear-naked choke, but Hata got back to his feet and landed an uppercut. Ishida tried for a takedown and Hata countered with a tight guillotine choke. Ishida escaped and rained down frantic punches from the top. Ishida continued to strike until the final bell.

Winner: Mitsuhiro Ishida by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. He improves to 19-6-1.


Kazuhiro Nakamura vs Karl “Psycho” Amoussou

Round 1:
Amoussou opened the fight with quick, flashy kicks to the legs and upper body, then followed with a one-two. Nakamura tried to close the distance and threw overhand rights, but Amoussou stayed out of range. Nakamura took Amoussou down and struck from the top in Amoussou’s guard. Nakamura continued to throw short strikes until Amoussou managed to work back to his feet. The fighters exchanged punches and Nakamura landed a one-two and a pair of uppercuts.

Amoussou clinched in the corner and threw knees, but Nakamura reversed a takedown and wound up on top. Nakamura resumed his assault from the top in Amoussou’s half-guard with punches and he managed to land a pair of solid right hands. Amoussou looked to set up a submission from his back, but Nakamura easily evaded and stood over his opponent. He rained down a trio of right hands and kept the pressure on from Amoussou’s guard.

Nakamura mixed in elbows to the body, then stood again and blasted Amoussou with hammerfists and two punches. Following a lull in the action, the fighters were stood up and Amoussou was given a Yellow Card. Nakamura scored with a hard right hand and Amoussou answered with a jumping knee. The fighters clinched and traded short strikes in close as the round came to a close. Good round for Nakamura.

Round 2:
Nakamura jabbed to open the second round and Amoussou countered with an overhand right and a wild flying knee. Nakamura grabbed onto Amoussou’s leg and tried for a takedown. He got Amoussou down and fought out of a loose guillotine choke. Nakamura worked from the top, but had to be wary of a triangle choke attempt from Amoussou. Nakamura returned to Amoussou’s guard and the fighters exchanged hammerfists.

Amoussou tried once again to set up a triangle choke, but Nakamura escaped and landed more short punches. He stood and spun out of a heel hook attempt, then dove in with a right hand. Amoussou held on and the referee stood the fighters up. Both fighters were given a Yellow Card. Amoussou rushed in with a kick and Nakamura drilled him with punches to the body and head. Nakamura took Amoussou down and struck from the top until the bell.

Winner: Kazuhiro Nakamura by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. He improves to 15-10-0.


Capped off by a quick and impressive victory for Shinya Aoki in the night’s main event, Dream.15 was a solid card despite the last-minute changes. Aoki retained his place as the top Japanese lightweight in the sport and left Tatsuya Kawajiri injured and down for some time. In DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix bouts, it was business as usual for finalist Gegard Mousasi, while Tatsuya Mizuno’s upset win over Melvin Manhoef shocked many.



(Photo Credit: DREAM)