Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dream 17 Results and the BIG QUESTION: Will There Be a Dream World Bantamweight Grand Prix Next???

It was an event plagued by injuries, dropouts, and weight issues, but all stations were a go when the curtain opened at Dream 17 earlier today in Tokyo.

Hiroyuki Takaya successfully defended the Dream Featherweight Title in his first title defense, edging Kazuyuki Miyata to a close split decision. In light heavyweight action, Gegard Mousasi made easy work of Hiroshi Izumi, a 2004 Olympic Judo Silver Medalist. Meanwhile, Dream's Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix came to a close with Hideo Tokoro taking out Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision.

Word out of Japan says this was a solid event. Too bad those of us here in the U.S. will have to wait three weeks before we can catch it on HDNet.

What I'm most curious about in the aftermath of Dream 17, is the prospect of a Dream "World Bantamweight Grand Prix." I think some of us got so caught up in the Japan bantamweight tournament that we totally forgot about the full scope of Dream's plan. When Dream first announced the Dream Bantamweight Grand Prix as a part of its "Fight for Japan" theme, it was introduced as a tournament that would set the stage for a world bantamweight tournament. If memory serves me correctly, this world tourney would kick off later this year.

So, what about this "Dream World Bantamweight Grand Prix"? Will the tournament actually happen, or will it become one of Dream's many shortcomings in the near-death stages of Japanese MMA? And if it does happen, what will be the format? Will Dream attempt to organize a K-1 style tournament that draws from qualifier tournaments around the world, or will they hand pick international competitors for a simple 8-man tournament? Better yet, will Dream even be around later this year? Maybe I should be more optimistic...

So many questions... As for answers, I'll wait and hope Dream can pull it off (for JMMA's sake), but I won't hold my breath!

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Some post-fight interviews. Click "CC" for closed captioning and then "Translate Captioning" to translate.

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Fight for Japan: BW Japan GP Final
July 16, 2011
Ariake Coliseum,
Tokyo, Japan

Dream Featherweight Championship Bout
Hiroyuki Takaya def. Kazuyuki Miyata via Split Decision

Dream Bantamweight Japan GP Final Bout
Hideo Tokoro def. Masakazu Imanari via Unanimous Decision

Dream Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Gegard Mousasi def. Hiroshi Izumi via KO (Punches) – R1, 3:29

Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Drew Fickett via TKO (Punches) – R1, 4:41
Kenji Osawa def. Keisuke Fujiwara via Unanimous Decision
Tatsuya Mizuno def. Trevor Prangley via KO (Knee to the Body) – R1, 4:41
Marius Zaromskis def. Eiji Ishikawa via Unanimous Decision
Eiji Mitsuoka def. Bruno Carvalho via Unanimous Decision

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