Posts Tagged ‘Shinya Aoki’
(INCLUDES REPORTING BY HECTOR CASTRO)
Contrary to a published report, MMADieHards.com has learned that former WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner will not at this time be accepting a fight with Shinya Aoki at DREAM’s “Fight for Japan” show.
MMA-Japan.com is reporting that Aoki confirmed the match for the event, which is slated to take place May 29. Some reports also have Antonio McKee as the first choice for the bout – provided he could clear up his travel arrangements – and added that Varner was a possibility.
As it stands now, Varner will not be taking the fight, a source close to the event told MMADieHards.com
There are issues with DREAM’s negotiations that are keeping Varner from accepting.
DREAM has also thought about Dan Lauzon, the younger brother of the UFC’s Joe Lauzon, as a possibility for the slot at the event, which will be held at Saitama Super Arena Hall in Saitama, Japan. But Dan Lauzon’s Promoter, Joe Cavallaro, said speculation his fighter was going to match with Aoki was untrue. But they would be eager to take that fight.
The “Fight For Japan” card includes the eight-man DREAM bantamweight tournament quarterfinals, in addition to the following matches: Caol Uno vs. Akiyo Nishiura, Joachim Hansen vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Katsunori Kikuno vs. Daisuke Nakamura.
Strikeforce returned with its first major event since the Zuffa purchase from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.
The event, “Diaz vs. Daley” was headlined by a welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Paul Daley, as well as a lightweight title bout between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri. The main card aired on Showtime.
Diaz finishes Daley to Retain Welterweight Strap
In the main event of the evening, welterweight champion Nick Diaz met UFC castoff Paul Daley for the Strikeforce championship.
Diaz opened the fight trash talking and taunting the British fighter. Daley showed his explosiveness, connecting with a number of shots that led Diaz to try for a takedown that failed. On the feet, Diaz clinched and landed a number of body shots. Daley shot for a takedown and the pair hit the mat briefly. The pair traded big shots on the feet, including elbows from the champion. A big left hook from Daley dropped Diaz to the mat and the Brit looked to finish, but Diaz survived. Diaz delivered more body shots on the feet and connected with a big right that wobbled Daley. Daley stumbled to the mat and Diaz pounced on the dazed fighter.
Referee “Big” John McCarthy stopped the bout at 4:57 of the first round as Diaz retained his championship.
When asked who is next, Diaz replied, “I don’t know, we’ll have to figure it out.”
Gilbert Melendez makes short work of Tatsuya Kawajiri
The Strikeforce lightweight championship was on the line as champion Gilbert Melendez returned from injury to face Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Melendez started the fight with a huge right hand that dropped Kawajiri just seconds into the bout. After a series of knees, a wobbled “Crusher” fell to the mat and Melendez took his back. Melendez continued to punish with strikes against the cage, but a resilient Kawajiri returned to his feet. He shot for a takedown, but was stuffed by the champion, who gained top control and delivered a number of vicious elbows.
Referee Cecil Peoples was forced to stop the fight at 3:14 of the first round, as Melendez kept his belt.
Asked about the aggressive start, “I don’t know any other way,” Melendez said. “I think it’s about time we unify some belts.”
Keith Jardine and Gegard Mousasi fight to draw
In a light heavyweight collision, former UFC contender Keith Jardine stepped in on late notice for an injured Mike Kyle to face DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi.
The opening round saw Jardine open aggressively, shooting for takedowns. Mousasi scrambled well and returned to his feet. During one of the scrambles, Mousasi threw an upkick that connected with Jardine while he was still on the mat, causing a one-point deduction.
In the middle round, Mousasi picked apart Jardine on the feet. The veteran was rocked on multiple occasions and instinctively shot for takedowns, scoring each time. Mousasi again prevented Jardine from doing any damage from the top and returned the fight to the feet each time.
The final round saw a tired Jardine take a ton of damage on the feet. Mousasi scored takedowns of his own against the bloodied Jardine. Jardine survived a guillotine attempt due to the slickness of the blood. The final seconds of the fight closed with a desperate armbar attempt from Jardine off his back.
The judges scored the fight 29-27 for Mousasi, and 28-28 twice, resulting in a majority draw.
“I got tired. Guess that’s what training camp is for,” Jardine said. Mousasi exhibited disappointment, knowing that the upkick cost him a win.
Shinya Aoki submits Lyle Beerbohm
In the first televised bout of the event, DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki battled Lyle Beerbohm.
Beerbohm opened the fight by pressing Aoki against the fence, but Aoki used a trip to score a takedown and gain top control. The slick submission specialist quickly took Beerbohm’s back and secured a body triangle. Aoki locked in a neck crank that forced a tap from Beerbohm.
The time of the finish was 1:33 of the first round.
Robert Peralta defeated Hiroyuki Takaya via split decision (30-27 x 2, 28-29)
Virgil Zwicker defeated Brett Albee via TKO (strikes), Rd. 1, 1:46
Joe Duarte defeated Saad Awad via submission (armbar), Rd. 2, 2:45
Herman Terrado deefeated A.J. Matthews via TKO (punches), Rd. 1, 4:16
Rolando Perez defeated Edgar Cardenas by decision (30-27 x 3)
Casey Ryan defeated Paul Song by submission (triangle choke), Rd. 1, 1:39