1:30 It’s t-minus 30 minutes to the start of DREAM 5, so if you plan on hanging with us for the next few hours I recommend preparing your energy drinks and pizza pockets now! I’m killing the time watching some very shitty pro wrestling. Hey, don’t judge me … it’s the only thing on TV.
1:50 I’m all stocked up … energy drinks, potato chips, and candy. These late night events are a killer … I need the sugar to stay awake, but eating shit all night results in hangover-like symptoms tomorrow.
2:00 Here we go! No matter how poorly put together the HDNet broadcasts of Japanese events are, you just can’t beat the high def quality. After watching a muddy dark Affliction show, this is like an orgasm for my eyes.
2:05 We’ve got Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten in the booth, and this time they’ve actually been sent out to Japan to cover the event. This is good because last time they just had them in a sound booth somewhere in California and it was TERRIBLE. They had no energy.
2:10 HDnet puts together a decent little highlight reel of the earlier rounds and now they’re doing interviews with Alvarez and some of the other guys. My prediction for first fight starting: 2:25AM. The Japanese don’t rush.
2:15 Fireworks go off right behind the american announcers, and they look like they nearly shit their pants. The stage is really impressive … a q-bert setup of screens with a giant LCD panel across the top. Goddamn does it blow away anything you’ll ever see at a US MMA event. They’re doing the fighter introductions. Screech queen is doing her regular thing.
2:20 First fight walk ins coming: Daisuke Nakamura vs. Andy Ologun. Andy comes in to that terrible Black Eyed Peas ‘remix’ of the Pulp Fiction song, which just goes to show you that bad taste transcends all cultural boundries.
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Andy Ologun
Two five minute rounds for this fight, for some reason. Maybe that’s just what they told the gaijin announcers? The two trade leg kicks and Ologun knocks Nakamura down with a kick. Ya would have thought Nakamura would be able to absorb more kicks considering his retardedly huge shinguard boots. Nakamura goes right to a kneebar and Ologun almost taps but turns the tap into a punch and then pulls out. They seperate and smile at eachother. Ologun hits Nakamura with a good punch that has him reeling against the rope. Ologun chases in and Nakamura circles off the ropes and jumps into an armbar! Ologun taps!
WINNER: NAKAMURA (SUBMISSION)
2:30 I don’t get it … HDNet is obsessed with video quality but they can’t seem to run a sound mixer to save their life. They’re showing highlights from the earlier DREAM cards, but you can hear all the noise from the Japanese promos playing over the loudspeakers in the Osaka dome. It’s basically a trainwreck to listen to.
2:35 Oh, now they’re alternating between dark shots of the arena and a camera filming one of the screens. HDNet needs to get it’s head out of it’s ass on these production values. Oooh, time for a LW Grand Prix match! Shinya Aoki vs. Caol Uno time! Shinya comes out to soom goofy YMCA style Japanese music. His fans are all holding rainbow colored cards, in what I assume is a tribute to his goofy tights. No word on how silly his pants are tonight, he’s still in a gi.
2:40 They start Caol Uno’s entrance off full orchestra style like he’s Superman returning to earth. Now they break into a cheeseball techno Smells Like Teen Spirit song. Uno stays up at the top of the stage dancing for a good minute before starting his way to the ring.
Caol Uno flops onto his back and lies on the canvas staring at the ceiling until his music ends.
Shinya Aoki vs. Caol Uno
Shinya Aoki’s got crazy red striped pants. He looks like a human candy cane. The round starts! Squeaky girls keep crying out “Aooookiiii! Aoookiiii!” The two are tentative, feinting and seeing how they react. They trade kicks, both missing. Aoki steps in and pushes Uno against the ropes. After a short tussle Aoki picks Uno up and drops him on the ground. Aoki goes for an armbar but loses it and top position. He’s now on the bottom with closed guard against the ropes … the ref stops them and moves them to the middle of the ring. Who knows how much time is left, there’s no clock being shown by HDNet Fights.
Aoki has a good hold on Uno’s glove but can’t get a submission on it. Uno is up on his feet trying to create space but Aoki has his legs tied up with Uno’s, and looks ready for a leg lock. Aoki drags Uno down and is trying to lock up a submission using Uno’s shoes for a grip. They roll and roll and Uno is on the defensive as Aoki is twisting and pulling on Uno’s shoe. Aoki’s got a tight heel hook but Uno isn’t giving up. Uno escapes but suddenly Aoki is on Uno’s back!
Aoki has a body triangle on Uno’s back and they look like they’re spooning romantically as Aoki looks for something or other. Aoki throws a few punches in Uno’s face. Uno just rolled off his back and is now sorta on top of Aoki, although Aoki still has the body tringle. The ref calls time … Aoki’s glove has pulled off his fingers. They restart. Still no clock, who knows how much time is left. Here we go, 3 minutes left.
Aoki forces Uno back onto the mat and is still on Uno’s back going for a choke. Uno defends but Aoki isn’t giving up. Uno scrambles off his back and Aoki transfers his body triangle into a full triangle and he’s squeezing the fuck out of Uno. Uno is fighting it but this shit is locked down hardcore. Somehow Uno holds on and escapes just before the end of the round.
Uno comes in more aggressive but walks right into a takedown. Uno is on bottom in half butterfly. The two trade strikes, Uno from his back and Aoki with hammerfists. Uno rolls over and gives up his back to Aoki … retarded. There was no reason for him to do that and now he’s got Aoki with one hook in. Uno gets up onto his knees with Aoki piggybacking. Uno rolls to his side and drives Aoki’s head into the mat but no damage done. Aoki’s got another body triangle as Uno rolls around trying to shake him off. 2:30 left in the fight.
Uno is twisting to try and escape Aoki on his back but Aoki is relentless. He’s finally twisted him off but now Aoki is on top again. And again, he’s on Uno’s back. Aoki is relentless, he’s just holding on and keeping position. Uno can’t get shit done. Uno finally rolls over and is back on top in Aoki’s closed guard. He stands up and is throwing strikes down with 30 seconds left. Aoki lands a decent strike and Uno ducks his head into Aoki’s chest. Aoki takes advantage and locks up rubber guard to trap Uno’s head. He seems happy to wait for the bell, and it comes. We’re going to a judge’s decision.
Judges: Aoki – Aoki – Aoki
WINNER: AOKI (DECISION)
3:00 We’re one hour in. The Ologun fight was exciting, and you gotta respect the way Aoki just dominated Uno on the ground. I guess there goes my theory that Aoki would win his first fight but be unable to continue into the finals. He came out maybe a little tired but other than that unscathed.
3:05 Time for the other half of the bracket: Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri. Alvarez comes in to some jiggy shit, while Kawajiri chooses some aggro-rock. Kawajiri looks pretty damn serious in his ‘Krusher’ jacket.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Kawajiri starts off with kicks and Alvarez answers back with a big one two combination. Alvarez follows up with a shoot but gets caught in a near choke by Kawajiri. Kawajiri follows up with some knees to the top of Alvarez’s head and Alvarez pulls back up and presses Kawajiri against the ropes. After a few knees from Eddie they separate the fighters.
Kawajiri lands in a good punch which staggers Alvarez. Alvarez sets up some strikes with a kick but Kawajiri anwers with strikes of his own. Alvarez ducks under and ties Kawajiri up against the rope. They seperate and Kawajiri unloads with more strikes. Kawajiri doing a good job with his punching, I wasn’t expecting him to hang with Eddie on the feet. 7 mins left.
Eddie catches Kawajiri with a fury of punches, he knocks Kawajiri onto his ass. Kawajiri gets back up but Alvarez lands a knee which drops him again. Now they get back up and Alvarez is keeping the pressure on, throwing mean body shots as they’re pressed against the ropes. Kawajiri slides out and runs across the ring to get a few seconds respite. Alvarez follows, throwing big and Kawajiri stumbles again. They’ve called a time out to look at a cut on Alvarez’s face – under his eye. This is very good for Kawajiri, he’s getting time to recover. They restart.
Kawajiri knocks Alvarez on his ass with a hard straight. Kawajiri follows into Alvarez’ guard and Alvarez is holding on for dear life. Kawajiri is in half guard momentarily but Alvarez gets back into full guard. Kawajiri pulled out though and goes to side control to full mount! Bas Rutten is so excited he sings opera style about how epic that was. 4 minutes left.
Alvarez reverses Kawajiri and gets back to his feet. They’re now slugging it out going back and forth. Kawajiri drops Alvarez to his knees but Alvarez pops back up and keeps striking away. They clinch and Kawajiri is landing some brutal knees to the body. They separate and Alvarez knocks Kawajiri the fuck out, but the ref doesn’t stop it. Alvarez stands above Kawajiri for a good 10 seconds before following up with hammerfists to Kawajiri until the ref stops it
WINNER: ALVAREZ (KO)
3:21 Alvarez runs out of the ring, I got a feeling they’re gonna be icing the fuck out of his face and working on the cut under his eye.
Joachim Hansen vs. Kultar Gill
I kinda feel bad for Gill. He put up a good fight against Kawajiri in the last round but there ain’t any way he’s gonna escape this fight without getting knocked out. It blows me away that the UFC let Hansen slip away from them after they bought PRIDE. And here we go! Round 1 starts.
Hansen shoots in to take Gill down but bounces awkwardly off the ropes and into Gill’s clinch. Gill lands some decent knees before ending up on the bottom under Hansen. Gill doing a good job of getting back up and they’re clinching in the corner of the ring. The ref splits them up and returns them to the center of the ring.
Gill throws more leg kicks and some wild hooks. Gill lands a good knee to the chest of Hansen and then tries to take Hansen down. Hansen resists and then lets Gill take him down and is working on an armbar. He’s got an harm and he’s trying to lock his legs into position. Now he seems to be transitioning to a triangle, but then goes back to the armbar and lands it! Gill taps.
WINNER: HANSEN (SUBMISSION)
3:30 Hansen thanks Gill for the fight, and compliments him on his kicks, saying he’ll be limping for a while. Everyone laughs with Hansen till he dedicates his fight to several people he knows who are dying. And now Bas Rutten is talking about everyone he knows who’s died of cancer. BUZZKILL ALERT!
3:35 They’re really selling the fact that Joe Benavidez trains with Urijah Faber. If DREAM wasn’t made up of former PRIDE employees, you’d swear they were setting up the idea of a Kid vs Urijah fight.
Joe Benavidez vs. Junya “Kodo” Kudo
There’s no way in hell I’m gonna type out ‘Benavidez’ during this play by play so he’s just gonna be known as ‘Joe’. Kudo and Joe practically hug. Very classy. Round 1 starts!
Joe starts with a teep and then takes Kudo down. Kudo ties Joe up and Joe lifts and drops him onto the canvas. Kudo working hard to not give Joe any room at all. He breaks free and kicks Kudo in the ass before they scramble into north-south position. After a knee to the head from Joe, Kudo gets back up and thet split.
Kudo lands a good strike but Joe gets a body lock and dumps Kudo on his ass. Joe holds onto Kudo and has his back. He lands hammerstikes and now gets into full mount with a guillotine locked in. Kudo holds on for a good 20 seconds but then taps. Very nice
WINNER: BENAVIDEZ (SUBMISSION)
3:45 Benavidez basically begs on the mic for the love of the Japanese. They respectfully clap for him. Strange sound issues once again, it sounds like someone in the announcer’s booth is cutting some serious farts.
3:50 Now it’s time for Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Motoki Miyazawa. Hironaka last fought for the UFC, losing to Jonathan Goulet at UC 83.
Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Motoki Miyazawa
You could hear a pin drop in the arena. Even the english announcers aren’t saying anything because it just seems improper to break the silence. Hironaka steps in with a right and then ties Miyazawa up in the corner and humps him. Miyazawa jumps up onto Hironaka and holds on ‘koala style’ as Bas Rutten calls it. They separate then Miyazawa pushes Hironaka against the corner of the ring. He’s throwing some knees to the thigh and Hironaka returns before the ref separates them.
Miyazawa pushes Hironaka against the ropes again until Hironaka turns him around. Again Miyazawa jumps up onto Hironaka and this time Hironaka allows Miya to drag him to the ground. Miyazawa lifts his leg up and pulls rubber guard, throwing short punches to Hironaka’s head. Hironaka pulls out and now stacks Miyazawa up against the corner or the ring but doesn’t leave much room for strikes. Now he’s got a good position and lands some good straight shots to Miyazawa’s face.
The ref steps in and separates them. The two start trading punches in the middle of the ring, but neither is really that accurate or doing much damage. The most damaging thing going on is Hironaka’s kicks to Miyazawa’s legs. Hironaka is now starting to look like he’s getting his range settled, he’s letting go with his fists and landing some good shots. Miyazawa is trying to counter but his strikes aren’t landing.
Now Miyazawa unloads with a hook that lands hard. Hironaka’s got a bloody nose and Miyazawa has some swelling on his face. Hironaka continues to move forward, throwing jabs and crosses. They’re landing, but not doing any significant damage. He seems to be getting more confident, moving forward and throwing without worrying about getting tagged in return. Now he’s got Miyazawa trapped in a corner and he’s unloading on him. The ref stops the bout to check on a bad cut on Miyazawa’s forehead.
And they stop the fight due to the cut.
WINNER: HIRONAKA (TKO – CUT STOPPAGE)
4:15 We’ve just got Bas and Kenny talking about what’s happened thus far … I got a feeling this is the ‘intermission’ point of the show. Yep, the Japanese have intermissions during events because they’re so goddamn long.
4:20 Yup, it’s the intermission. Opening my second energy drink.
4:30 Intermission, intermission, intermission. Listening to Bas and Kenny is putting me to sleep. They’re doing pretty good considering they’re having to blab about nothing for 15 minutes, but still. How much longer is this gonna go on for?
4:40 DEAR FUCKING LORD WHEN WILL THE FIGHTS CONTINUE????
4:45 Here we go, and we’re back. Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki
Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki
Yamazaki comes in to some serious jazz music. I’m not the biggest fan, but at least the range of music at these events extends past the rock/rap/country of UFC events. And round 1 starts!
They start trading kicks and punches and then Tokoro lands a direct shot to the cock of Yamazaki. Yamazaki takes his time recovering as Tokoro shuffles around looking like an awkward teenager at the prom. After about a minute the fight continues.
Yamazaki uses strikes to set up a takedown and is on top. Tokoro goes for an armbar but Yamazaki escapes. They’re scrambling now and Yamazaki gets stacked awkwardly against the ropes before upkicking and rolling into the corner ofthe ring. Yamazaki gets into side control but Tokoro has one of his hands trapped so he’s not managing anything. Tokoro escapes and they stand up with 7 minutes left.
Wow, Tokoro lands a brutal right which knocks Yamazaki on his ass. Tokoro jumps on top and rains down blows but Yamazaki recovers and gets back up, pushing Tokoro into the corner. Tokoro grabs an arm and goes for a kimura but they split up and start swinging for the fences. Tokoro looking very dangerous when he’s striking. Yamazaki pushes Tokoro into the corner to slow down the pace and the ref separates them with 5 mins left.
Tokoro steps in and lands a good knee to the body which knocks Yamazaki back. Yamazaki steps in to punch and eats another direct shot to the balls for his trouble. Action is stopped and Yamazaki crouches down and makes a serious of funny faces. The ref yellow cards Tokoro for the low blow and we’re still waiting for Yamazaki to see if he will continue.
And we’re back. Tokoro throws a nice high kick and Yamazaki answers with some good strikes. Tokoro clinches up and throws nice knees to the body of Yamazaki, who responds by taking Tokoro down. He staks Tokoro up against the ropes again until he basically pushes Tokoro ass over kettle. Totoro grabs at Yamazaki’s leg and goes for a kneebar. He loses it but ends up high up on Yamazaki’s back working an armbar. Yamazaki pulls out the backdoor and is now on top again with 2:30 left.
The two fighters are jockeying for position. Tokoro is landing strikes from the bottom and Yamazaki continues to work on transitioning by folding Tokoro in half and trying to push his legs out of the way. He ends up almost falling into a triangle but is now stuck with Tokoro’s leg on his shoulder, allowing Tokoro to stay out of range of Yamazaki’s strikes. Again Yamazaki stacks Tokoro up and peppers Tokoro with weak punches to the top of his head as the round ends.
Tokoro comes out swinging and lands some good wild punches. Yamazaki ducks under pushes Tokoro against the ropes until the ref seperates them. Tokoro is now starting to let go with his kicks, landing some good shots to the body. I bet every time he kicks, Yamazaki is worried about his balls. Yama pushes Tokoro into a corner and stays there till the ref seperates them.
Yamazaki throws some strikes to set up a takedown and pulls Tokoro down to the ground. Tokoro manages to get to his knees and grabs Yamazaki’s arm, working on a kimura. They stalemate and the ref splits them up again. They call time out as they fix Yamazaki’s glove. The fight resumes, 2:30 left.
Tokoro throws another good kick which lands, but Yamazaki catches it and dumps Tokoro on his back. He’s in Tokoro’s closed guard throwing inneffective punches now. Tokoro gets back up, but then gets taken back down. Yamazaki isn’t doing much while Tokoro is throwing upkicks from his back. Yamazaki stacks Tokoro up against the ring but isn’t doing anything with it. He finally pushes Tokoro over and gets side control for a few seconds but then loses it as the fight ends. Wow, what a dog of a fight.
And the judges say: Tokoro, Tokoro, Tokoro.
WINNER: TOKORO (DECISION)
5:12 The sun is coming up. It’s time for Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Katsuyori Shibata.
5:15 Holy shit, they just said Eddie Alvarez is out due to the cut under his eye. I wonder if that was a decision from the promotion to protect Aoki? Sigh, I wish we didn’t have to wonder about corruption when shit like this happens.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Well, Shibata sure has the crowd behind him. Too bad he’s about to get smashed. Wow, this is the closest I’ve ever heard the Japanese crowd come to booing someone. They really don’t like Akiyama. He gets down on his knees and bows to the ring and again people boo. The crowd is chanting Shibata as Round 1 starts. Shibata refuses to touch gloves.
The two have an extended feeling out process, throwing short kicks and punches and feints. Akiyama has Shibata stuck in the corner and is throwing a few leg kicks. Now they return to the middle of the ring and continue to circle eachother. 7 minutes left.
Shibata steps in and whacks Akiyama in the face. Now he does a spinning backfist that misses. Now Akiyama does a spinning back kick but eats a punch for his trouble. Akiyama pushes Shibata into the corner again and nearly takes his head off with a high kick, but Shibata ducks it. The two then tie up and Akiyama trips Shibata and lands on top in side control. 4 minutes left.
Akiyama has mount now. Looks like he’s trying to use his gi to choke Shibata. And he chokes Shibata unconscious.
WINNER: AKIYAMA (SUBMISSION)
5:30 They make the official announcement over the PA: Alvarez is out. They bring him into the ring and wow … his eye is FUCKED. It’s all puffed to shit and purple. I take back my original suspicions of a screw-job. Alvarez is in the ring trying to apologize, but he’s tearing up. He says he begged the doctors to let him fight but they said no. He ends by saying “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have fight in my place than Hansen.” He pulls a backflip off the top rope and then leaves the ring.
Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem
Overeem comes out to some uber-dutch trance. Hunt comes in to a cool island jam.
Hunt is apparently 290 pounds, so no knees on the ground because of the size difference. Hunt is coming out aggressive, throwing hard strikes and kicks. Alistair moves in and Hunt takes him down and has taken side control. Overeem throws his legs around and has landed an armbar. Hunt is struggling to avoid it but Overeem rolls him and twists the arm up in a shoulder lock. Hunt taps and the fight is over.
WINNER: OVEREEM (SUBMISSION)
5:50 They’ve got Eddie Alvarez in the broadcast booth now. He still sounds like he’s on the edge of tears as he says the doctors were concerned about him going blind. He says he was ready to go out, he could see out of the bad eye and it’s not like he was worried about Aoki’s striking.
Joachim Hansen vs Shinya Aoki
They go through Norway and Japan’s national anthem and now they have HDNet’s terrible translator explaining that this is for the LW Grand Prix belt. No shit. And hey, Shinya changed his pants, he’s now got yellow and black stripes.
Hansen jumps in with a wicked hook but misses, Aoki grabs him and takes him down. Aoki is now on top in half guard. Hansen is patty-caking Aoki’s head but no damage is done at all. Aoki takes his time, looking for an opening. Hansen almost gets guard back but then Aoki nearly gets side control. Aoki stands back up and Hansen upkicks Aoki square in the nuts. They stop and Aoki is taking his time to recover.
They restart the fight on the feet. Hansen goes for another big powershot that misses and Aoki ties him up and drags him down. At least Hansen is on top this time. Aoki goes into rubber guard and is now palm-striking Hansen in his big shiny head. Now he’s got the foot over Hansen’s head working on a gogo. Hansen puls out and is now standing far back. Aoki is upkicking and doing a good job of landing them. Hansen answers with a brutal punch downward that hits Aoki square in the mug. Now Hansen is back in guard. He lands a huge punch that rocks Aoki. Aoki turns his back and Hansen lands several more punches until the ref stops the fight. Replay shows Aoki tapping.
WINNER: HANSESN (KO)
6:15 Hansen says his first defense will be against Eddie Alvarez.
And that’s it for the live Dream play by play. The sun is up here and the birds are chirping away. Time for bedtime. Thanks for all of you reading along and thanks to everyone in the chat! Goodnight!