by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
On a three-week turnaround, Dream 12 took place Sunday in Osaka, Japan, just hours after UFC 104 finished in the United States.
To nobody’s surprise, in the main event, Alistair Overeem continued his unbeaten streak, which now stands at seven straight fights (including one no contest). He nearly flew over James Thompson and over the top rail of Dream’s new white cage with an opening flying knee, but quickly settled down after the near miss. Settling down wasn’t so great for Thompson though, as Overeem settled right into a standing guillotine choke that ended the fight almost as soon as it began.
Overeem has promised to return to the United States to finally defend his Strikeforce championship in 2010, but he’s intent on staying busy in Japan for the remainder of this year.
“I’m a bit busy in K-1, but after I become the K-1 champion, I’ll be back in Dream,” he told the crowd in Osaka after the fight, hinting at a return to the promotion as the year turns over.
He had to survive a tight neck crank in the opening round, but that Eddie Alvarez did. Katsunori Kikuno’s neck crank took a lot out of him, but Alvarez recharged in between rounds and came out firing in the second. He dropped Kikuno with a patented right hand, and as the fight found its way to the mat, Alvarez shifted gears and locked on an arm triangle choke for the submission. The win will likely put the Bellator lightweight champion in a New Year’s Eve bout to challenge Dream champion Shinya Aoki.
Marius Zaromskis kicked his record up to 13-3 with a quick win over Myeon Ho Bae. Zaromskis flew across the ring at the opening with a jumping knee. He didn’t quite land it, but he followed with a high kick to the head that did land… and it put Bae down and out for the knockout victory.
Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba scored his second straight victory with a hard fought win over Zelg Galesic, who dropped his second bout in a row. Sakuraba had an easy time three weeks ago at Dream 11 with MMA newbie Rubin Williams, but wasn’t so lucky on Sunday. He took Galesic down immediately and latched onto a leg, but the Croatian delivered a tremendous amount of punishing blows before Sakuraba was finally able to transition from a toehold to a kneebar for the submission.
Korean fighter Yoon Dong-Sik turned out of a three-fight skid to hand late replace Tarec Saffiedine the second loss of his career, taking home a split decision victory. Dong-Sik was originally slated to face Paulo Filho, but Filho was unable to make the fight because of what manager Ed Soares confirmed as visa issues.
Former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champion Chase Beebe continued to struggle. He lost for the fourth time in a five-fight stretch – the other bout being a controversial fight that was scored a loss, but later overturned to a no contest. He was overwhelmed by Yoshiro Maeda, who won his second-straight following a rough patch where he went 1-3. Maeda put the fight on the mat early and submitted Beebe with a rear naked choke in the opening round.
DREAM 12 RESULTS:
– Alistair Overeem def. James Thomson by Submission (Guillotine Choke), R1
– Eddie Alvarez def. Katsunori Kikuno by Submission (Arm Triangle), R2
– Marius Zaromskis def. Myeon Ho Bae by KO (Kick), R1
– Kazushi Sakuraba def. Zelg Galesic by Submission (Kneebar), R1
– Katsuyori Shibata def. Tokimitsu Ishizawa by TKO (Strikes), R1
– Yoon Dong Sik def. Tarec Saffiedine by Split Decision (2-1), R3
– Yoshiro Maeda def. Chase Beebe by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), R1
– Kuniyoshi Hironaka def. “Parky” Won Sik Park by TKO (Threw in Towel), R1
– Tomoya Miyashita def. Keisuke Fujiwara by Unanimous Decision, R3