by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Dream on Tuesday announced a handful of fighters confirmed for Dream 10, scheduled for July 20 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event features the completion the promotion’s Welterweight Grand Prix, which kicked off at Dream 8 in April.
The event’s main card will not feature a rematch between Shinya Aoki and Joachim Hansen as widely expected. Instead, Aoki will draw submission ace Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.
Aoki’s welterweight tournament dreams ended when Hayato “Mach” Sakurai knocked him out early in their opening round fight. The Dream mainstay has gone 6-2-1 for the promotion, with key wins over Gesias “JZ” Calvancante, Caol Uno, and Eddie Alvarez.
Ribeiro is on the rise again after a 2007 TKO loss to Calvancante – just his second in 22 fights – took him from competition for a year and a half. At Dream 8, the submission ace rebounded with a TKO win over Katsuhiko Nagata.
Though unconfirmed by Dream, Hansen may face the winner of Aoki vs. Ribeiro.
In middleweight action, former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho will tangle with striking powerhouse Melvin Manhoef. Since knocking out the iron jawed Mark Hunt on New Year’s Eve, Manhoef has struggled in two K-1 kickboxing matches, losing to Keijiro Maeda by knockout in March and averting a decision loss to Stefan Leko in May when Leko injured his leg late in the fight.
Once considered the world’s top middleweight, Filho fell from grace with two abysmal performances against Chael Sonnen, the last of which forced him to mail his WEC middleweight belt to the contender. Filho was reportedly close to a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships, but pulled out in the final stages of negotiation. The July 20 card will mark the first time he’s fought on Japanese soil in almost three years.
Dream lightweight and former Chute Boxe standout Andre “Dida” Amade (6-3-1) was also confirmed for the card, drawing Kikuno Katsunori (11-1-1).
Confirmed Dream 10 Bouts:
-Shinya Aoki vs. Vitor Ribeiro
-Kikuno Katsunori vs. Andre Amade
-Melvin Manhoef vs. Paulo Filho
Dream 10 Welterweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals and Finals:
-Hayato Sakurai vs. Marius Zaromskis
-Jason High vs. Andre Galvao