Hideo Tokoro Wins DREAM Japan GP; Takaya, Mousasi RetainVeteran journeyman Hideo Tokoro picked up one of the biggest victories of his career tonight at DREAM: “Fight For Japan” at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. Tokoro defeated submission ace Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari to win the inaugural DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix.

In other action on the card, Hiroyuki “Streetfight Bancho” Takaya narrowly retained his DREAM Featherweight Championship with a razor-thin Split Decision win over Kazuyuki Miyata. DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi quickly defeated Hiroshi Izumi.


DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix Final

Hideo Tokoro vs Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari

Round 1:
The fighters traded knees right away and Imanari dropped down to the ground for a leglock. Tokoro scored with punches from the top until Imanari returned to his feet and launched a flying kick. Tokoro landed a nice counter hook and Imanari flopped to his back again. Tokoro struck again from the top and avoided an armbar, then stood up. He countered a body kick with a right cross and avoided Imanari’s attempts to dive for a takedown.

Both fighters were warned for stalling and Imanari missed with a flying kick. Tokoro landed a hammerfist and Imanari returned to his feet. A one-two connected for Tokoro and Imanari began to taunt. Tokoro kept his distance and counterpunched when Imanari closed in. Imanari jumped into a bear hug, but Tokoro put him in a corner and took him down. Tokoro landed punches until the end of the round.

Round 2:
Tokoro opened round two with a flying knee and kept out of Imanari’s range. Imanari managed to pull guard, but Tokoro punished him with punches and stood up. He landed big punches on the feet and avoided a flying kick from Imanari, who flopped to his back again. Imanari worked from rubber guard and transitioned to a leglock attempt, but Tokoro escaped and the fighters stood. Imanari pulled guard again and landed hammerfists from the bottom.

All three judges awarded the bout to Tokoro, who wins the DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix.

Winner: Hideo Tokoro by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. He improves to 30-23-1 and becomes the DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion.


DREAM Featherweight Championship

Hiroyuki “Streetfight Bancho” Takaya vs Kazuyuki Miyata

Round 1:
Takaya swarmed with punches right away and Miyata clinched. He tried to take Takaya down, but Takaya defended well and stayed on his feet. The fighters were separated and Takaya jabbed. Miyata clinched again, but nothing came of it and Takaya dropped him with a right hook. Takaya struck from the top as Miyata recovered and defended on the ground. Takaya stood briefly and ate an upkick, then settled back into Miyata’s guard. The fighters were stood up and Takaya landed a kick-punch combo.

Miyata scored with a right hook and took Takaya down. He moved to mount and rained down punches, but Takaya scrambled out to his feet. Miyata backed him into a corner and a stalemate followed. Miyata missed with a head kick and tried for a takedown. The fighters were separated again and Takaya looked to put together combinations of punches and leg kicks. Miyata clinched and a break was soon called. The fighters traded strikes and Miyata landed knees late in the close round.

Round 2:
Takaya landed a one-two in the second round, but Miyata countered with a hook and took him down. Takaya got to his feet and Miyata landed knees in a clinch before the referee called for a break. Miyata connected with quick punches and tried for another takedown. Takaya stayed on his feet and rushed forward with punches, then avoided a second takedown attempt. Leg kicks were exchanged and Miyata landed right hooks. He clinched and landed punches and knees to Takaya’s ribs, then followed with more strikes in the final seconds.

Round 3:
Miyata landed a right hook and a capoeira kick in the final round. He followed up with more punches before clinching in a corner. The fighters were separated and Takaya tried to land a knockout punch. He chased Miyata down, but had to fight off a takedown attempt and another break was called. Miyata continued to counter Takaya’s punches with clinches and he landed knees in the corner. Takaya rushed forward with punches in the final minute and both fighters scored takedowns. Takaya struck from the top until the bell, and landed a few shots even after the bell sounded.

After three competitive rounds, the judges were split in their verdict. Takaya got the nod on two official scorecards to take a razor-thin and somewhat contentious title-retaining victory.

Winner: Hiroyuki Takaya by Split Decision after three rounds. He improves to 16-9-1 and remains the DREAM Featherweight Champion.


DREAM Light Heavyweight Championship

Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi vs Hiroshi Izumi

Round 1:
Mousasi avoided early strikes from Izumi and stuffed a takedown. He backed Izumi up with jabs and front kicks and sidestepped spinning backfists. Mousasi bloodied Izumi’s nose with jabs and began to pick him apart in the striking exchanges. He dropped Izumi with a big right cross and followed with more punches on the ground. Izumi managed to stand up, but was forced to lean through the ropes to escape Mousasi’s barrage of punches and the fight was waved off.

Winner: Gegard Mousasi by TKO (Punches) at 3:29 of round one. He improves to 31-3-2 and remains the DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion.


Undercard Bouts:

Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri defeated Drew “Night Rider” Fickett by TKO (Punches) at 4:41 of round one. He improves to 28-7-2 with the win.

Kenji Osawa defeated Keisuke Fujiwara by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. He improves to 18-10-2 with the win.

Tatsuya Mizuno defeated Trevor Prangley by KO (Knee To The Body) at 4:41 of round one. He improves to 10-7-0 with the win.

Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis defeated Eiji Ishikawa by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. He improves to 15-6-0, 1 NC with the win.

Eiji Mitsuoka defeated Bruno Carvalho by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. He improves to 18-7-2 with the win.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)