Dream, the new Japanese event produced by Fight Entertainment Group (the parent company for K-1 and Hero’s) and former Dream Stage Entertainment staff members, held a press conference Tuesday in Tokyo to announce three additional bouts to its March 15 premier.
A bout between Gesias “JZ” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki was previously announced for the Dream 16-man lightweight tournament. The promotion has now added Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill, Joachim Hansen vs. Koutetsu Boku, and Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Luiz “Buscape” Firmino.
Other participants expected to take part in the tournament, but not yet paired up, include Andre “Dida” Amade, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Caol Uno, Gilbert Melendez, Artur Oumakhanov, and Jung Bu-Kyung.
The lightweight tournament now includes six of the Top 10 fighters in the world in the division, according to the MMAWeekly.com World MMA Rankings. In fact, the only fighter in the top six not in the tournament is No.1 ranked Takanori Gomi, who is facing Duane “Bang” Ludwig on World Victory Road’s debut event on March 5.
In addition to its Lightweight Grand Prix, Dream is also hopeful to have Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic fight on the March 15 event. Filipovic was released from his Ultimate Fighting Championship contract in order to return to Japan to fight.
Dream reportedly offered the bout to K-1 veteran Ray Sefo. But according to a post on the Xtreme Couture website, he felt that he didn’t have enough time to prepare. Sefo told Xtreme Couture that he would relish the fight with Filipovic, hoping that it might take place at a later time, possibly this summer.
Sefo has recently relocated his mixed martial arts training to Couture’s Las Vegas-based gym.
Dream has also released the format for its fights, at least for the bouts in the tournament. Not surprisingly, each bout will consist of a 10-minute first round, followed by a 5-minute second round; the same format utilized by the defunct Pride Fighting Championships.
Dream Stage Entertainment was the former parent company of Pride FC.