Rich Clementi Now To Face Shinya Aoki At DREAM: "Fight For Japan"After a series of opponent changes, DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki will now square off with UFC veteran Rich “No Love” Clementi at DREAM: “Fight For Japan” on May 29th. The non-title bout was confirmed by DREAM representative Mike Kogan on Tuesday.

Clementi is the fifth targeted opponent for Aoki, and he steps in after Aoki declined a fight against TUF 8 alum “Sugar” Shane Nelson. Former MFC champion Antonio “Mandingo” McKee also previously withdrew from the fight. Clementi is coming off of a controversial decision loss last month.

Clementi (40-19-1) enjoyed a career resurgence from September 2007 until late 2008, and put together a six-fight winning streak during that time that included UFC victories over Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Melvin Guillard, Sam Stout and Terry Etim. He suffered defeats in his next two fights and was released from the promotion. Since then, Clementi has encountered mixed success. He most recently suffered a highly controversial Unanimous Decision loss to Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi at Superior Challenge 7.

Aoki (27-5-0, 1 NC) has won four straight fights in MMA action, but is still reeling from an embarrassing knockout loss to Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima in a mixed MMA/kickboxing rules bout on New Year’s Eve. The May 29th fight will be Aoki’s first in Japan since his loss to Nagashima, but he is coming off of a quick and impressive submission victory over Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm in Strikeforce. Of Aoki’s wins, 17 have come by way of submission, and he has recently been working on his striking with the Evolve MMA team in Singapore.

DREAM Japan Grand Prix: “Fight For Japan” takes place on May 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event may air on HDNet in North America. Proceeds from the card will go towards disaster relief and reconstruction after the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11th.


DREAM: “Fight For Japan” Fight Card (subject to change):

– Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki vs Rich “No Love” Clementi
– Katsunori Kikuno vs Daisuke Nakamura
– Caol “Uno Shoten” Uno vs “Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura
– “Lion” Takeshi Inoue vs Koichiro Matsumoto
– “The Endless Fighter” Mitsuhiro Ishida vs Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen
– Kenji Osawa vs Takafumi Otsuka (*)
– Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari vs Keisuke Fujiwara (*)
– Yoshiro Maeda vs Hideo Tokoro (*)
– Darren “BC” Uyenoyama vs Atsushi Yamamoto (*)
– Winner of Uyenoyama/Yamamoto vs Winner of Maeda/Tokoro (**)
– Winner of Imanari/Fujiwara vs Winner of Osawa/Otsuka (**)

*DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal
**DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix Semi-Final



(Photo Credit:

  1. Strong card.