The first Dream event took place on Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Although much focus was on Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s return to fighting in Japan, it was the promotion’s Lightweight Grand Prix opening round that took center stage.
The main event – featuring two of the top lightweight fighters in the world – did not turn out as anyone had planned when Gesias “J.Z.” Calvancante landed an illegal elbow to the back of Shinya Aoki’s head. The bout was stopped and ruled a no contest.
Three other lightweight fighters currently ranked in the Top Ten – Tatsuya Kawajiri, Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Joachim Hansen – all emerged victorious in their first round bouts.
In his first bout for Dream since being released from his Ultimate Fighting Championship commitment, Filipovic emerged victorious, finishing off Tatsuya Mizuno with strikes in less than a minute of the first round.
American fighter Eddie Alvarez, in a slight upset, finished off former Chute Boxe fighter Andre “Dida” Amade by TKO stoppage in the opening round of their bout, also part of the lightweight tournament.
Popular Japanese fighters Hayato “Mach” Sakurai and Ikuhisa Minowa both finished off their opponents inside of the first round as well.
-Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias “J.Z.” Calvancante rule a No Contest (Due to Illegal Elbow)
-Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kultar Gill by Unanimous Decision, R2
-Eddie Alvarez def. Andre “Dida” Amade by TKO at 6:47, R1
-Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Tatsuya Mizuno by TKO (Strikes) at 0:56, R1
-Mitsuhiro Ishida def. Jung Bu Kyung by Unanimous Decision, R2
-Katsuhiko Nagata def. Artur Oumakhanov by Unanimous Decision, R2
-Luiz “Buscape” Firmino def. Kazuyuki Miyata by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 7:37, R1
-Joachim Hansen def. Koutetsu Boku by Unanimous Decision, R2
-Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Hidetaka Monma by TKO (Strikes) at 4:12, R1
-Ikuhisa Minowa def. Kwan Bun Lee by Submission (Kneebar) at 1:25, R1