Dream returns on Sept. 24 to Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan. Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara announced Dream 17 and several other items at a Wednesday press conference.
Not only does Dream 17 signify the promotion’s return to numbered events following “Fight for Japan” in May and the “Japan Grand Prix Final” in June, but it also marks the shift to three five-minute rounds for regular fights and five five-minute rounds for title bouts.
This brings the promotion more in-line with the Unified Rules utilized throughout North America and much of the rest of the MMA world. Dream in the past contested its fights with the first round being 10 minutes and the second being five minutes, while adding another five-minute round for championship bouts.
Dream will not, however, switch its judging to the 10-point must system utilized in the Unified Rules. They will instead stick to their former system of scoring the fight in its entirety, not round-by-round.
The first bout announced from the Dream 17 fight card is a featherweight contest pitting UFC veteran Caol Uno against Lion Takeshi Inoue.
Dream 17 will also serve as the launching pad for the promotion’s World Bantamweight Grand Prix tournament with four quarterfinal bouts. Hideo Tokoro, Masakazu Imanari, and Kenji Osawa all automatically qualified for the tournament because of their placing in the Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix. Sasahara also announced that Bibiano Fernandes, Dream’s former featherweight champion, would also take part in the 135-pound tournament.