Three More Fights Added To Dream.16 CardThree more fights have been announced for the upcoming Dream.16 event on September 25th. DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki will face Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio, though Aoki’s title will not be on the line. Aurelio’s planned participation in the Shine Fights Lightweight Grand Prix on September 10th reportedly won’t be an issue.

Also announced were fights pitting former DREAM champ Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen against Japanese veteran Hideo Tokoro, and former Shooto champ “Lion” Takeshi Inoue against wrestling standout Kazuyuki Miyata.

Aoki (24-5-0, 1 NC) is coming off of a successful title defence against Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri in July. He has lost just twice in DREAM and has emerged victorious in four of his last five fights. A bid for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship ended in a one-sided defeat, but Aoki put on an impressive performance against Kawajiri. Aoki quickly took the fight to the ground and methodically worked for an achilles lock until Kawajiri was finally forced to submit while in great pain.

Aurelio (20-8-0), meanwhile, has experienced mixed success in recent years. He dropped three straight fights after his shocking 2006 win over Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and was cut from the UFC following a loss to Evan Dunham last year. The submission ace has finished 17 of his opponents to date and his style poses an interesting test for Aoki. Much like the win over Gomi, an upset victory here could potentially set up a DREAM title fight for Aurelio in the future.


Hansen (19-10-1) captured the DREAM Lightweight Championship by stopping Aoki in the pair’s second meeting on July 21, 2008. However, injury woes sidelined the Norwegian and he lost the title in a rubber match with Aoki last October. A subsequent run at the DREAM Featherweight Championship ended with Hansen on the wrong side of a Unanimous Decision and he was knocked out for the first time in his career by Hiroyuki “Streetfight Bancho” Takaya at Dream.14.

Tokoro (26-22-1) has been competing in mixed martial arts for just shy of ten years. He has served as the perennial gatekeeper for DREAM, but managed to pick up a big victory last year when he submitted KOTC champ Abel “The Silent Assassin” Cullum in a 2009 Fight of the Year candidate. Tokoro is just 1-2 since then and was stopped in less than three minutes by “Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura at Dream.14. Like Hansen, Tokoro now has something to prove heading into the Dream.16 bout.


Inoue (18-4-0) held the Shooto Lightweight (143-Pound) Championship until May 30th of this year when he was dethroned by Sengoku ace Hatsu Hioki. He has won 12 of his last 15 fights and is well-versed in both striking and submissions. Inoue has never been stopped in his career, but he may struggle to compete with Miyata’s wrestling if he cannot keep the fight standing.

Miyata (9-7-0) is one of the most gifted wrestlers in mixed martial arts, but he has had mixed success in MMA. Once remembered solely as the recipient of a four-second flying knee KO from Japanese megastar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Miyata has managed to turn his career around in recent years and has won four straight fights. His striking has steadily improved, but his strength still lies in his wrestling.


Also addressed at the DREAM press conference were a pair of other pressing issues involving the company. DREAM President Keiichi Sasahara was asked about reports of fighters not being paid for their fights at recent DREAM events, but he deflected responsibility and stated that the issue would be addressed at a subsequent press conference. As well, fighters from Sengoku Raiden Championships, initially thought to be competing at Dream.16, are now unlikely to do so. Sasahara stated that a plan had been in place, but it did not work out.

Dream.16 takes place on September 25th at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan. The card also features the finals of the DREAM Light Heavyweight Grand Prix between Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi and Tatsuya Mizuno. Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba faces Jason “Mayhem” Miller in a middleweight bout, while Michihiro Omigawa battles new Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren.