Dream 17 report from Saitama, Japan

Welcome to our live coverage of Dream from Saitama, Japan. 

Some notes on the HDNet broadcast.  Michael Schiavello and Frank Trigg, who a few hours ago did the Titan show in Kansas City, now start at 2 a.m. Central time doing announcing from Memorial Hall.  Good luck to them keeping the enthusiasm up and being able to avoid delirium in a few hours since Dream shows are usually very long. 


First round: Harn is a pro wrestler from the IGF. So this is two pro wrestlers. He was the 2002 and 2007 freestyle wrestling champion from Mongolia and his brother was involved in the sumo match fixing scandal. Harn is 6-4, 253, Minowa-man at 191. Minowa-man got the takedown against a former champion wrestler. Minowa-man thrwoing elbows to the thigh. He moved to the mount. Now side control. Minowa-man remained in side control before winning by submission with a headlock with a neck crank.


First round: Marques is from Brazil, a training partner of people like Marlon Sandro and Jose Aldo Jr. Saadalaev is a Jiu Jitsu champion from Russia who now lives in Illinois. Fans in Japan don’t know either guy. Marques knocked him to a knee. He’s working for a a Kimura. Saadalaev away from a triangle attempt and now both back to their feet. Takedown by Saadalaev. Marques worked for a shoulder lock and then a toe hold. Marques than took him down. Marques landing somepunches in the last minute or so on the round. Marques dropping punches at the end of the ground. Marques 10-9.

Second round: Saadalaev got a takedown right away. Marques swept to the top and into side control. He’s working for an arm triangle. Saadalaev powered out but Marquez tried a facelock. Marques now in full mount. Saadalaev now reversed to the top. But he’s stuck in the guard. The ref ordered a stand-up. Saadalaev has no power in his punches. Saadalaev powered him to the ground. Marques went for a toe hold but didn’t have anything. Saadalaev looked better but still Marques’ round so 20-18.

Third round: Marques took Saadalaev down right away. Moved to full mount. Marques breaking through with some punches. Saadalaev snuck out and grabbed an Achilles lock but Marques doesn’t appear to be in trouble. The ref ordered a stand up. Marques landed a solid left. . Saadalaev went for a takedwon by Marques sprawled. Saadalaev with a belly to belly takedown. Marques with an uma plata as time ran out. Good third round. Marques should take the round close. 30-27 Marques.

Scores: Marques with a unanimous decision.


First round: Cullum doing the cowboy gimmick that gets over in Japan because of the fascination with John Wayne and Stan Hansen. Imanari charged in and basically pulled Cullum to the ground. Imanari is on the bottom and immediately used an uma plata, and moved to his back but didnt get it. Cullum back on top. Imanari grabbed an armbar. Cullum out and landed a punch to the face. Imanari with a triangle. Cullum powered out with a power bomb. The crowd loved this. Cullum was landing punches when Imanari got a break because his glove came loose. That was opportune. Cullum landed a good head and body shot on the ground. Imanari again tried a triangle but didn’t get it close this time. Cullum with body punches on the ground. Imanari tried a gogoplata but again not close. Imanari maneuvered to his back and went for a choke but not close. Cullum put Imanari back on his back and landed five hard punches. Now Cullum landing a lot of body punches. Cullum landed anoher good shot. This round is really hard to score. Imanari’s submission work has been entertaining but Cullum landed a lot of solid punches from the top and did more damage. Very good first round, though. Imanari 10-9.

Second round: Cullum landed a punch and Imanari went down, but this wasn’t a knockdown, he was just looking for a way to get it to the ground. Cullum landing some punhces. Cullum with a lot of body punches. Cullum landing a lot now, head and body. Imanari tried a gogoplaa but Cullum out and landing a ton of punches on the ground. Cullum is pounding the hell out of him even though Iamani doesn’t appear to be hurt from all the shots. Imanari again trying to get up a gogoplata. But didn’t come close and got punched in the face. Cullum with tons of body punches. The ref ordered a stand-up which was ridiculous considering Cullum was landing so many punches within the guard. Maybe that’s why. Back on he ground and Cullum on top throwing tons of body punches and some head punches. He’s landing solidly. Cullum solidly won the round, really a 10-8.5 type round. Trigg just said Imanari won the round. Given it’s the middle of the night there I guess we should let him slide.

Third round: Hard left hook by Imanari. Anotehr left by Imanari. Imanari landed another left. And another. Went for a body kick and Cullum used it fo a takedown. Imanari then went for a gogoplata, and then quickly moved it into an armbar for the submission. Fantastic finish to a really good fight. :49.


First round: Both out swinging and landing. Otuska missed a punch and Fernandes immediately took him down, spun behind him and choked him out. :41


First round: Tokoro is still super popular. Tokoro has had along career filled with exciting wins and losses. All standing early and nobody landing anything solid. This is about where people in the U.S. would start booing since nothing is happening. For two usually exciting fighters we’re now at 3:00 and nothing has happened. Banuelos landed a right at about 3:50 and followed with a body shot. The ref warned both guys for the lack of action. Body kick and a few punches by Banuelos and more punches. Tokoro back with a high kick. Tokoro shot, Banuelos sprawled. Banuelos 10-9.

Second round: Again little happening. Both moving like crazy but little is landing. Tokoro with a body kick. Tokoro in with a knee and Banuelos landed a right and Tokoro went down but it was a slip. Banuelos landed a flurry after Tokoro threw a kick. Banuelos getting a few punches and now landed a front kick. Now Baneulos landed another few solid shots. Knee by Tokoro. Both continue to move like crazy but not landing. Banuelos knocked Tokoro down with a right that should win him the round. Tokoro landed a high roundhouse kick that hurt Banuelos, but in the scramble on the ground, Banuelos got his back on the ground. Banuelos 20-18.

Third round: Banuelos landed two punches coming in. Tokoro shot and Banuelos sprawled and landed on top. Banuelos landing some punches from the top even though Tokoro seems to be controlling him from the bottom. Banuelos’ corner wants him to stand up. They ended up in the corner of the ring and the ref moved them to the center. Tokoro up, he didn’t get anything in on the ground. Tokoro in with a knee. High kick by Tokoro but didn’t land solid. Both traded and landed. Tokoro moving forward. Banuelos landed a few shots. Front kick by Banuelos. Tokoro with a knee but Banuelos took him down. Tokoro going for a Kimura, now going for a kneeebar. Banuelos throwing some punches. Crowd going crazy here after that great action. Banuelos punching the back and has Tokoro’s back. Really Banuelos won this round as well but the Japanese want Tokoro to advance. Closer round and a really fun round. 30-27 Banuelos.

Scores: Split decision for Banuelos. This really hurts the tournament going forward because Tokoro is the star of the division for Japan.


First round: Harris landed a few punches in a flurry in an otherwise slow first round. High kick by Nakamura and Harris back with a high kick and a jumping knee. Harris trying for a takedown and not getting it. Harris landed two punches and a low kick. Nakamura landed a left hook. Harris with two more punches. 10-9 Harris.

Second round: Nakamura got a judo takedown but Harris was back to his feet immediately. Both in a clinch, Harris dropped for a takedwon. Nakamura held on to the rope to block it. Nakamura has a bloody nose. Harris got him down but Nakamura right up. Harris again wanting a takedown. Both traded knees. Both guys seem tired. They are in a clinch. The ref separated them. Both throwingwildly. Harris finally got a takedown late. He landed a short knee to the body. Harris’ round so should be 20-18.

Third round: Harris working for a takedown. Nakamura landed a right. Back in a clinch. Harris dropping and trying for a takedown and got it but Nakamura right back up. Harris landed a series of punches and shot in. He didn’t get it. But time is running low. Both out swinging. Harris in with a takedown attempt but not getting it. Harris went for a big slam, Nakamura kept grabbing the ropes to block the slam, which was ridiculous because there wasn’t even a warning. Harris still took him down. Not much of a fight but Harris won all three rounds, 30-27.

Scores: One judge gave it to Nakamura, even the Japanese fans booed that, but Harris got the split decision.


First round: Kitaoka is a submission master, has submission wins over Carlos Condit, Kurt Pellegrino, Takanori Gomi and Paul Daley. Kitaoka immediately went for a takedown . Freire grabbed the ropes to block, the refs have been really bad about letting this go. Kitaoka finally got him down. Freire back up. Kitaoka took him down again and Freire right back up. Kitaoka shot in again. Didn’t get the takedown. Big right by Kitaoka. A quick takedown by Kitaoka late. Then time ran out. Kitaoka’s round 10-9.

Second round: Body kick by Kitaoka. Freire back with a kick that was blocked. Kitaoka shot in for a takedown. Freire blocking well. Kitaoka tired and now is doing sloppy takedown attempts. Freire should take over. Freire didn’t do enough after Kitaoka tired to win the round. Even round, so 20-19 Kitaoka. Kitaoka’s right leg is a mess from low kicks.’

Third round: Kitaoka shot in right away. He’s unable to get him down. Kitaoka tripped him but Freire landed on top. Kitaoka going for a guillotine and doesn’t have it. Freire shoved him off. Trading kicks. Kitaoka’s leg is looking bad. Freire went for the inside thigh but hit the groin, causing a time out. Kitaoka looks real tired now. Still he landed a punch and got in for a takedown. Freire got a yellow card and I’ve got no idea why. They called it for stalling but that’s ridiculous, although he could have been more aggressive. Freire landed a punch and high kick. Kitaoka is on his bicycle ,but threw a good left. Right by Freire. Kitaoka threw a haymaker, missed and went down on the power of his missed punch. Freire went to the ground but then got up and let Kitaoka up. Trading punches. Kitaoka with another left. Kitaoka’s nose is bleeding. Kitaoka landed again. Another left landed by Kotaoka. Both swinging at the end. Close round, Freire won the round so I’ve got 29-29, but they judge the whole fight. Still very close that way.

Scores: Split decision for Kitaoka. You can’t really argue a decision in a fight as close as this. I will say this, this was Freire’s fight to win from the second round and he didn’t get aggressive enough to and take it.


First round: Cabral has won every fight by submission. Cabral got into the sport because he idolized Sakuraba. Sakuraba looks really skinny at 167. He’s out with a mask. Still looks like an enternal little kid. He joked that maybe his nose might come off. Knees wrapped up like a mummy. Cabral landed a lot of punches and was hurt immediately and then taken down. Cabral landing so many punches. Sakuraba back with a left. This was an exciting fight as they went back and forth. Cabral with another takedown. Cabal with punches from back position. Sakruaba turned to his stomach. Cabal landing punches but not that damaging. Now he’s go side position and landing lefts. Cabral now landing a lot of punches from the top. Caral looking for a knee bar but Sakuraba escaped. 10-9 Cabral.

Second round: Slow single by Skauraba. Cabral landing jabs and then a low kick. Sakuraba with a kick to shoulder. Cabral picking him apart. Cabral landing more left jabs. Cabral took him down. Cabral continuing to land lefts on the ground. Arm triangle. 2:43.


First round: Uno landed good right. Uno landed but Takeshi knocked him down. Seemed to survive. High kick by Uno but Takeshi not hurt. Right by Takeshi. Right high kick knocked Uno out.  Takeshi hit a punch after the kick but he was out on his feet the minute the kick landed.  4:18


First round: Looked like he cut too much to make 143. Hansen knocked him down with a round kick. Hansen tried to follow up but Kawajiri ducked and slammed him down. Kawajiri passed to side control. Up kick by Hansen. Kawajiri landing punches now. Hansen clinched and threw some knees at close range. Kawajiri got the takedown. Nice ground work by Hansen but he ended up in the same spot with Kawajiri on top of him. Hansen swept and got Kawajiri’s back Kawajiri back up. Kawajiri reversed and is working for a Kimura. He gave up on it and Hansen reversed on top with 14 seconds left and got a mount. He got Kawajiri’s back as time ran out. Hansen 10-9.

Second round: Hansen with a left and left kick. Kawajiri back with a kick. Hansen went for the takedown but Kawajiri ended up on top. Kawajiri holding him down and got side control. Hansen chants. Kawajiri just holding him down. Hansen trying to sweep but can’t get it. Kawajiri doing weak ground and pound. Kawajiri just holding him down and doing very little. Kawajiri passed to side control again. A few short punches, Kawajiri’s round so we’re at 19-19.

Third round: Body kick by Hansen and Kawajiri back with a body kick. Hansen landed three punches and Hansen with a body kick. Now Kawajiri landed punches and moving in for a takedown. Kawjairi with a nice uppercut. Hansen with a right that hurt Kawajiri and landed a knee. Kawajiri tied him up. Kawajiri went for a takedown. Hansen grabbed the ropes and the ref warned him. Kawajri landed on top in side control. Kawajiri got an arm triangle. Hansen tapped out. Round was good.


First round: Aoki shot right away and got the takedown. Aoki throwing some short hammer fists from the top. Short hammer fists by Aoki who is keeping McCullough on his back. McCullough up with 2:08 left. Aoki took him right back down. Palm blows by Aoki. Now knees to the head on the ground by Aoki, which are legal in Japan. He got McCullough’s back and is working for a choke, and McCullough tapped at 4:57.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?