by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com (photo courtesy of Dream)
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto has suffered a torn ACL in his knee during a sparring session yesterday and will not be able to participate in Dream 5. According to doctors, the injury will sideline the Krazy Bee fighter up to six months. His scheduled opponent Joseph Benavidez has arrived in Japan and it is not known if Dream will be able to find him an opponent in time.
“I want to apologize to my fans,” said Yamamoto. “I must recover now over the next six months. If I were Joseph, I’d be angered by the sudden cancellation of our fight. I want to apologize to Joseph Benavidez”
“It’s very disappointing that my chance to fight Kid has disappeared suddenly,” commented Benavidez.
Mark Hunt is currently in Japan. Hunt was scheduled to take on former K-1 rival Jerome LeBanner, but the French kickboxer was forced to withdrawal due to an injury. Sources close to MMAWeekly indicate that Dutch striker Alistair Overeem will replace LeBanner.
Dream 5 will be headlined by the Lightweight Grand Prix Finals. Shinya Aoki is set to face Caol Uno and former Shooto champion Tatsuya Kawajiri takes on Eddie Alvarez in the opposite semi-final bracket. Joachim Hansen and Kultar Gill will fight for the tournament reserve spot.
Dream 5 Card:
Lightweight Grand Prix Finals (16-man tournament)
-Shinya Aoki (#3 Lightweight in the World)* vs. Caol Uno
-Tatsuya Kawajiri (#4 Lightweight in the World)* vs. Eddie Alvarez
[Semi-Finals and Finals will take place on the same night]
Lightweight Grand Prix Reserve Bout:
-Joachim Hansen vs. Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill
-Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Katsuyori Shibata
-Motoki Miyazawa vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka
-Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki
-Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem
*Based on MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings