by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
DREAM on Friday announced that it has added five fights to its DREAM.3 event, which is scheduled to take place on May 11 at the Saitama Super Arena. The second round of the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix highlights the show, but significant individual bouts have been added as well.
Among them is a welterweight title elimination bout between Cesar Gracie fighter Nick Diaz and former welterweight King of Pancrase Katsuya Inoue. The winner will move on to face Hayato “Mach” Sakurai for the championship on July 21 at Dream.5.
Diaz hasn’t fought since losing due to a doctor’s stoppage to K.J. Noons at Elite XC: Renegade, while Inoue drew with Djamal Kurbanov at Pancrase: Shining 3.
In a bout that serves as the final addition to the first round of the Middleweight Grand Prix, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Jason “Mayhem” Miller makes his Japanese debut against Masakatsu Funaki pupil Katsuyori Shibata. Miller won a decision victory over Tim Kennedy at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon. Shibata was stopped by Min Suk Heo at K-1 Hero’s Korea 2007.
Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef faces off with Korean wrestler Dae Won Kim in a reserve fight for the Middleweight Grand Prix. The winner will step in if Kiyoshi Tamura is deemed unable to compete due to an injury he suffered in the opening round of the tournament or if another tournament fighter is unable to compete.
Manhoef’s latest MMA action was a stoppage victory over Yosuke Nishijima at K-1 Dynamite!! 2007, while Kim stopped Marcelo Garcia at K-1 Hero’s Korea 2007.
Korean judoka Bu Kung Jung takes on Pride veteran Daisuke Nakamura in a non-tournament bout. Jung suffered a decision loss to Mitsuhiro Ishida at DREAM.1, while Nakamura won a decision over Juri Ivlev at M-1 Challenge.
Also announced as participating on the show is DEEP veteran Takeshi Yamazaki, who scored a submission victory over Daikai Ozaki at Cage Force: Ex Eastern Bound.
Second round lightweight match-ups include, former Shooto welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri facing off with Brazilian Top Team fighter Luis Buscape; Pride veteran Joachim Hansen taking on EliteXC veteran Eddie Alvarez; former Shooto Pacific Rim welterweight champion Mitsuhiro Ishida against K-1 Hero’s veteran Caol Uno; and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Katsuhiko Nagata tentatively scheduled to fight Shooto middleweight champion Shinya Aoki.