Two Featherweight Bouts Set For DREAM: "Genki Desu Ka"Two featherweight bouts have been announced for the year-end DREAM: “Genki Desu Ka” event on December 31st in Saitama, Japan. Former top lightweight contender Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri competes at featherweight for the second time when he faces Kazuyuki “Little Hercules” Miyata.

The DREAM Featherweight Championship will also be up for grabs on the card. Reigning champion Hiroyuki “Streetfight Bancho” Takaya defends his belt against former Shooto ace “Lion” Takeshi Inoue, who has won three straight fights and most recently knocked out Caol Uno in September.

Kawajiri (29-7-2) made the drop down from lightweight at Dream.17 after unsuccessful bids for titles in DREAM and Strikeforce. In a rematch with former rival Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen, Kawajiri submitted the Norwegian standout midway through the third round. He now faces a fellow powerhouse wrestler in Miyata (11-8-0), whose six-fight winning streak was snapped in a razor-thin DREAM Featherweight Championship bout in July. Both fighters expect to cut significant amounts of weight in order to make the featherweight limit and the winner could find himself right back in the title hunt in 2012.

Takaya (16-9-1) has won four of his last five fights, with the lone defeat coming via Split Decision at an April Strikeforce event. He captured the DREAM Featherweight Championship from Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes on New Year’s Eve and will now put the title on the line against the surging Inoue (21-5-0), who has posted three knockout wins this year. The fighters have combined for 21 KO victories to date and Inoue has demonstrated marked improvement in his striking in recent bouts. Like Kawajiri and Miyata, both Takaya and Inoue will also face big weight cuts for their fight.

DREAM: “Genki Desu Ka” is set for December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The uniquely-titled event – which translates to “How Are You?” – is named after a popular phrase used by general producer Antonio Inoki and replaces the traditional K-1 “Dynamite!!” New Year’s Eve card.



(Photo Credit: