Three More “Dream Vs. WVR” Fights Added to DYNAMITE!

Shawn SmithCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2009

At a press conference held yesterday, Dream and World Victory Road representatives announced two more fights for its fast-approaching New Year's Eve card.

A champion-against-champion lightweight encounter will take place as second-ranked Shinya Aoki takes on Sengoku’s ninth ranked Mizuto Hirota. The other bout announced is between fifth-ranked Tatsuya Kawajiri and the always tough DEEP-veteran Kazunori Yokota. Also, reports are surfacing that a last minute bout between recent Strikeforce signee Melvin Manhoef and Japanese veteran Kazuo Misaki.

Fairly new to mixed martial arts, Hirota is one of the most unknown ranked fighters in the sport. He came to prominence after pulling off a fairly surprising upset against PRIDE veteran Mitsuhiro Ishida. Following this, he was given a championship fight against heavy favorite and Sengoku Champion Satoru Kitaoka. Hirota took a beating early, but outlasted Kitaoka and finished him in the fourth.

Shinya Aoki is coming off of an armbar victory over Joachim Hansen to claim the DREAM Lightweight Championship. Anyone who knows anything about Aoki can tell you about his lethal ground game. Although Hirota has never been finished, the chances of him keeping that upset streak going are in jeopardy.

Tatsuya Kawajiri had been clamoring for a fight with Shinya Aoki all year and DREAM decided to deny his request as he will be facing Sengoku’s Kazunori Yokota. Yokota has put together a decent resume, defeating many of Sengoku’s lightweights such as Mizuto Hirota, Michihiro Omigawa, Ryan Schultz and Eiji Mitsuoka. Both Kawajiri and Yokota like to throw the leather so we can expect a war in this one.

Finally, maybe the most competitive of the announced bouts is between powerhouse Melvin Manhoef and longtime veteran Kazuo Misaki. Manhoef is 1-2, having fallen to both Paulo Filho and Gegard Mousasi by submission. With Filho’s lack of ground game and Misaki’s submission prowess it will be interesting to see if Manhoef can keep it off the ground and make it a stand-up bout.

Rumors have been circulating that we could see the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion on the card in a K-1 rules bout, but nothing has been announced as of now.

Right now the card is shaping up like this:

Masato vs. Andy Souwer (K-1)

Satoshi Ishii vs. Hidehiko Yoshida (MMA)

Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota (MMA)

Melvin Manhoef vs. Kazuo Misaki (MMA)

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazunori Yokota (MMA)

Masanori Kanehara vs. Norofumi "Kid" Yamamoto (MMA)

Akihiro Gono vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (MMA)

Hiroshi Izumi vs. Katsuyori Shibata (MMA)

Marlon Sandro vs. Hideo Tokoro (MMA)

Michihiro Omigawa vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (MMA)

Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Alistair Overeem (MMA)

Yosuke Nishijima vs. Ray Sefo (K-1)

Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (MMA/"Super Hulk" finale)

Hiroya vs. Masaaki Noiri (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal)

Katsuki Ishida vs. Shota Shimada (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal)

Tsukasa Fuji vs. Ryuya Kusakabe (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal reserve)