Dream.17: "Fight For Japan" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsDREAM began the 2011 DREAM World Bantamweight Grand Prix tonight at Dream.17: “Fight For Japan” at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. In the main event, reigning DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki faced “Razor” Rob McCullough in a non-title matchup.

Also on the card, former lightweight rivals Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri and Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen squared off in a much-anticipated rematch in the featherweight division, and Caol “Uno Shoten” Uno battled “Lion” Takeshi Inoue. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s DREAM card.


Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki vs “Razor” Rob McCullough

Round 1:
Aoki shot in early in the fight and got McCullough down against the ropes. He moved to side control and threw short left hands, but McCullough regained guard. Referee Yuji Shimada moved the fighters to the centre of the ring and Aoki worked for a guillotine choke from the top. He let it go and scored with a knee and hammerfists to the face. More hammerfists scored for Aoki and he eventually passed to mount.

McCullough tried to scramble from the bottom and got back to his feet as Aoki attempted an armbar. Aoki wasted little time in taking McCullough back down and he punched from the top. The fighters exchanged punches on the ground and Aoki moved to side control. McCullough tried to stand up, but Aoki landed knees and took his back. He secured a neck crank and McCullough tapped out.

Winner: Shinya Aoki by Submission (Neck Crank) at 4:57 of round one. He improves to 29-5-0, 1 NC.


Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri vs Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen

Round 1:
Hansen stunned Kawajiri with punches early on and rushed in with a flying knee, but Kawajiri recovered and took him down. Kawajiri passed to side control and nearly to mount, but Hansen regained full guard. Hansen punched from the bottom and landed an upkick. Kawajiri backed away and referee Moritaka Oshiro stood Hansen up. Hansen landed a left cross and a knee to the body. Kawajiri took Hansen down and attempted to pass his guard.

Hansen prevented Kawajiri from progressing past half-guard and defended against Kawajiri’s Kimura attempt. The fighters stood and Hansen threw knees to the thighs. Kawajiri used the Kimura to drag Hansen to the mat and he tried to torque Hansen’s left arm behind his back. He let it go and Hansen swept. Hansen moved to mount and took Kawajiri’s back before the bell. Close round. 10-9 Hansen.

Round 2:
The fighters exchanged punches to open round two and Hansen landed a hard left hand. Kawajiri defended against a takedown and wound up on top. Hansen kept Kawajiri in his guard and Kawajiri threw short punches to try to set up a guard pass. Hansen struck back from the bottom, but Kawajiri passed to side control briefly. Hansen regained half-guard and Kawajiri worked to free his right leg.

Hansen defended well on the ground and prevented Kawajiri from landing anything damaging. Hansen tried to kick Kawajiri off, but Kawajiri remained in Hansen’s guard and threw short hammerfists. Kawajiri struggled to pass beyond half-guard, but eventually did so after a series of hammerfists. He closed out the round on top with a solid right hand. 10-9 Kawajiri.

Round 3:
Both fighters landed leg and body kicks in the final round and they exchanged left hooks seconds later. Kawajiri flurried in close and clinched, but Hansen broke away. A leg kick and an uppercut scored for Kawajiri, but Hansen staggered him with punches and a knee. Kawajiri dropped down for a takedown and got Hansen down on his second try. He moved to mount and secured an arm-triangle choke. Hansen held on initially, but was eventually forced to submit.

Winner: Tatsuya Kawajiri by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 2:30 of round three. He improves to 29-7-2.


“Lion” Takeshi Inoue vs Caol “Uno Shoten” Uno

Round 1:
Uno opened the fight with stiff jabs and Inoue answered with leg kicks. Uno continued to land jabs and he shot in for a takedown. Inoue sprawled out and remained on his feet. Uno landed a right cross, but Inoue dropped him with a flurry. Uno recovered and got to his feet, but Inoue landed more punches on the way. The fighters circled and Inoue floored Uno with a head kick. Uno had no idea where he was and referee Yuji Shimada stopped the fight.

Winner: Takeshi Inoue by KO (Head Kick) at 4:18 of round one. He improves to 21-5-0.


Yan Cabral vs “The Gracie Hunter” Kazushi Sakuraba

Round 1:
Cabral closed the distance early on and the fighters traded kicks. Cabral rocked Sakuraba with a left hook and followed with more punches, but Sakuraba recovered. Cabral briefly took Sakuraba down and landed punches as he stood. The fight returned to a clinch in the corner and Cabral tripped Sakuraba to the mat. Sakuraba scrambled and Cabral threw punches from the top.

Sakuraba turtled as Cabral punched to the body and tried to set up a submission. Sakuraba got back to half-guard, but Cabral used punches and hammerfists to move to side control. He postured up and landed more punches as Sakuraba tried to defend. Sakuraba regained full guard and Cabral peppered him with punches and hammerfists in the final seconds. 10-9 Cabral.

Round 2:
Sakuraba shot in for a weak takedown in round two, but his weakened knees prevented him from dropping down quickly enough to get Cabral to the mat. Cabral jabbed and blocked a head kick. He landed a right hand and a leg kick, but Sakuraba remained the aggressor. The fighters clinched and exchanged knees to the body.

Cabral took Sakuraba down and punched from side control. Cabral secured an arm-triangle choke and passed to the other side. Sakuraba had nowhere to go and begrudgingly tapped out on the mat. Referee Moritaka Oshiro called a halt to the bout.

Winner: Yan Cabral by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 2:42 of round two. He improves to 10-0-0.


Satoru Kitaoka vs Willamy “Chiquerim” Freire

Round 1:
Kitaoka countered a kick from Freire by clinching for a takedown. Freire stayed on his feet by using the ropes, but Kitaoka got him down anyway. Kitaoka was unable to do anything from the top, so he stood up and tried to drop punches. Freire scrambled to his feet and clinched in the corner. He defended against a Kitaoka guillotine choke and referee Kenichi Serizawa separated the fighters.

Kitaoka circled and kept his distance after the restart. He threw a head kick and shot in for a takedown. Freire remained on his feet and reversed the clinch. He landed two knees before the referee broke the fighters apart. Kitaoka landed a lead right hook and blocked a head kick. Freire landed a kick to the body and Kitaoka took him down in the final seconds. 10-9 Kitaoka.

Round 2:
After a brief exchange of strikes, the fighters clinched against the ropes in round two and Kitaoka backed Freire into a corner. The referee separated the fighters and Freire threw a front kick. He stayed out of range of Kitaoka’s kicks and landed a body kick of his own. Freire sprawled out of a takedown, but Kitaoka kept him pinned in the corner.

The referee called for a break and warned the fighters for inactivity. Both landed kicks at the same time and Freire missed with a jumping knee and a looping right hook. He landed a leg kick and stuffed a takedown. Another leg kick scored for Freire and Kitaoka answered with a left hook. Freire avoided a takedown and both fighters threw kicks in the final seconds. 10-9 Freire by a small margin.

Round 3:
Kitaoka shot in right away in the final round and clinched in the corner. He tried to take Freire down, but wound up on the bottom. Kitaoka attempted a guillotine choke, but Freire freed himself and stood up. Time was called after a kick from Freire strayed low. Action resumed and Kitaoka tried for a takedown in the corner. Freire defended and the fighters were separated. Kitaoka used a right hook to set up a takedown attempt, but Freire stepped free.

Referee Kenichi Serizawa called for a break and strangely gave Freire a Yellow Card for inactivity. Freire scored with a right cross and a kick to the upper body after the restart. He landed more punches and ducked under a wild right from Kitaoka, who fell. Freire landed hammerfists and Kitaoka stood up. Freire landed two right hands, but ate a counter left from a now-bloodied Kitaoka. Freire landed more punches late in the round and avoided Kitaoka’s counters. 9-9.

Winner: Satoru Kitaoka by Split Decision after three 5:00 rounds. He improves to 29-10-9.


(Tournament results and undercard play-by-play on Page Two.)