We shit on the Japanese for everything that they do wrong, so it seems only fair to mention when they do something right as well. Word is DREAM has added P4P #1 female fighter Megumi Fujii to their DREAM: Genki Desu Ka New Year’s Eve event. This marks the first time DREAM has included women on any of their cards, and I’d like to applaud them for not ignoring WMMA.
Of course, this is Japan we’re talking about so Fujii’s opponent is 6-1 Karla Benitez, aka a can for Fujii to crush. Sorry Karla! I only consider you scum compared to Fujii! See how you scum! But that’s how the Japanese tend to roll on NYE … half the fights end up being showhorse performances against less than stellar opposition. Look at Fedor, who’s supposed to face fizzled judo prospect Satoshi Ishii. If that even happens at all. And I’m sure once Sergei Kharitonov gets an opponent it’ll be underwhelming as well.
There’s also been rumblings that freshly jailed wife beater Brett Rogers will be fighting on the card – his lawyers tried to have his sentence deferred until after December 31st and now MMA websites are reporting that he may face Tim Sylvia. The only positive part of that is that someone I hate will lose, but knowing Timmy he’ll probably turn the fight into 15 minutes of top positioning or something. Which should be really fun to watch at 6AM in the morning. Will Sylvia actually make it to Japan or are they just dicking around with him again? I’m sure we’ll find out a few days before NYE.
Okay, enough bitching. For fans of pure Japanese fisticuffs, there’s still enough good stuff to go around. Check out these fights:
Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka (DREAM Lightweight Championship)
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi Inoue (DREAM Featherweight Championship)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Hayato Sakurai vs. Ryo Chonan
And the latest bantamweight tournament semis and finals:
Masakazu Imanari vs. Antonio Banuelos
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Rodolfo Marques
Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev (Reserve bout)
As much as I’m looking forward to the bantamweight tournament fights, I’m also looking forward to being done with bantamweight tournaments in general. This is the second 135 pound tournament run by DREAM this year. Because the first one was the ‘Japanese’ tournament and this one is the ‘World’ one. Also because the people running DREAM ran out of more interesting gimmicks long ago.