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Anatomy of a botched main event

Overall, I was generally happy with the first DREAM show. Initially I thought the production values were pretty low until I realized I was watching a shitty fight by fight rip of the Korean broadcast. I decided to re-watch a crystal clear Japanese version so I could get a proper feel for the event and it really made a difference. So for those of you claiming the ‘budo’ was gone from the event, perhaps you should try watching the entire event and not just the bouts on the youtubes?

There were a few things that left bad tastes in my mouth. Minowaman and Mirko Crocop both got ultra-cans and the fights didn’t last long enough to be entertaining. There’s something to be said for mismatches and freakshows where the underdog has a chance of winning. But in this case the outcomes were so painfully obvious there was no real enjoyment in watching the fights.

But the worst thing to come out of this weekend’s show was the No Contest between JZ Calvancante and Shinya Aoki, which was basically being marketed as the main event. For those of you who didn’t see it, JZ blasted Aoki in the neck with elbows, and Aoki was unable to continue. While that seems like it should be a clear cut case of disqualification, this is Japan we’re talking about. The fight was ruled a no contest and now DREAM officials are trying to figure out what the fuck this means in regards to the tournament.

Again, this is a pretty clear cut case of JZ getting a DQ loss and Aoki moving forward to the next round. But here’s the possibilities as floated by Sherdog’s very detailed report on the situation:

  • No contest is upheld and ‘the physically able fighter will proceed in the tournament’, aka JZ.
  • Fight is ruled a DQ loss for JZ, Aoki continues
  • JZ and Aoki face off again in the second round (only 7 of the 8 tournament fights were held at DREAM.1, leaving room for this to happen)
  • JZ and Aoki face off again at DREAM.2 in a first round ‘retry’

There’s 1001 complications going into all this relating to ratings and executives and sponsors and DREAM’s plans for the future of their lightweight division. Basically this whole situation has become a total cock-up, which is never what you want to hear regarding the main event for your first rebranded show.


    JZ threw some cheap shots….you could hear the ref (1 foot away) yelling at him to stop and he kept doing it.

    LEt the fight go to the ground, don’t hit the guy in his neck….that could paralyze him.

    I agree though, it sucks that they didn’t even really fight…I hope they do a rematch, the fans deserve it

  • MMAPredictions

    Five of the fights on that card were correctly predicted by 90% or more of our predictors. Yes – five. And we didn’t even include the Minowa fight as his opponent was announced so late. If that fight was included I am guessing there would be six fights correctly predicted by more than 90% of folks.

    When crap is that predictable it just is not that exciting.

  • fightlinker

    Odds were on Dida in the Alvarez fight, i think people just chose the non-asian they were familiar with, not knowing Alvarez was pegged to lose. Black Mamba also did pretty good … he needs to learn how to get off his back though.

    The dude fighting Hansen also put up a good fight, that was pretty exciting to watch.

  • MMAPredictions

    I must recant: more than 90% of users predicted four of the fights correctly, not five. Srry…

  • Captain

    I say let them rematch so JZ can kick Aoki’s ass and the whining can stop. Aoki already has two DQ wins where fans and fighters thought he could have continued, so he should not get the win here. Let them fight it out.

  • Matt (but I signed up as Mr. Unbelievable Pants)

    Desperately wanna see a straight rematch. I give the edge to Calvan simply due to size and strength, but if they end up scrambling and Aoki gets his octopus legs all over him, it could get interesting…