After UFC 141 ends, be sure to join us right here at ProMMANow.com for a live blog of Dream Genki Desu Ka! Richard Anderson Mann will follow along with all the MMA, K-1 and professional wrestling action. The show starts at 1:00 a.m. ET and continues until 10:00 a.m.
Dream Genki Desu Ka! quick results:
- Bantamweight Tournament Reserve bout: Yusup Saadulaev def. Hideo Tokoro TKO (slam) :42 Round 1
- Bantamweight Tournament bout: Antonio Banuelos def. Masakazu Imanari Decision (split)
- Bantamweight Tournament bout: Bibiano Fernandes def. Rodolfo Marques Diniz Decision (unanimous)
- K-1 MAX bout: Masaaki Noiri def. Kengo Sonoda Decision (unanimous)
- K-1 MAX bout: Yuta Kubo def. Nils Widlund KO (kick) Round 3
- Welterweight bout: Hayato Sakurai def. Ryo Chonan Decision (unanimous)
- Featherweight bout: Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kazuyuki Miyata Submission (arm-triangle choke) 4:54 Round 2
- Women’s 115-pound bout: Megumi Fujii def. Karla Benitez Submission (armbar) 1:15 Round 1
- Mix Rules bout: Katsunori Kikuno def. Yuichiro Nagashima TKO (punches) 2:34 Round 2
- Bantamweight Tournament Final: Bibiano Fernandes def. Antonio Banuelos TKO (punches) 1:21 Round 1
- Featherweight Championship bout: Hiroyuki Takaya def. Takeshi Inoue Decision (unanimous)
- Lightweight Championship bout: Shinya Aoki def. Satoru Kitaoka Decision (unanimous)
- Heavyweight bout: Fedor Emelianenko def. Satoshi Ishii TKO (Punch) Round 1
12:31 a.m. Yes, my name is Richard Mann, but no, I am not related to Art Mann. The show has not even started and that commercial is already bothering me. This is going to be a long night.
12:57 a.m. The HDNet promo emphasizes the A in Aoki. Our very own Jack Bratcher made that mistake at a Strikeforce presser and Aoki corrected him. For the record it is pronounced like “Ioki.”
1:00 a.m. We are live. Micheal “The Voice” Schiavello is already excited.
1:03 a.m. The crew is talking about the Shinya Aoki-Satoru Kitaoka friendship. Kitaoka has publicly asked for the fight before. This is not a Jon Fitch-Josh Koscheck situation.
1:12 a.m. It is interesting that everyone keep bringing up Antonio Inoki’s involvement as the reason for the professional wrestling on tonight’s card. Back in the day when Inoki hosted his own New Year’s Eve show, it was almost exclusively MMA. For example, take a look at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 card, which played a big part in revealing Yakuza dealings in Pride FC.
1:17 a.m. “The Voice” could not be more right. It is a “relief” to see Kazushi Sakuraba in pro wrestling instead of MMA. The man’s body can’t take anymore abuse. In an interesting side note, one of his opponents in Shinichi Suzukawa, who is famous for being the first sumo wrestler to get dismissed for possession of marijuana.
1:21 a.m. Whenever the lights go down, I hope we are going to get Nobuhiko Takada banging on a drum like in the old Pride days, but it never happens.
Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev
1:27 a.m. The introduction video begins with Hideo Tokoro hitting an imaginary homerun and running the bases. He slips on his way to home plate and runs back in the opposite direction. Now, invisible players have him caught in a rundown. You can’t make this up.
1:32 a.m. As Saadulaev walks to the ring, the crowd looks pretty strong. It will be interesting to see if Dream can beat last year’s 26,729
1:35 a.m. 35 minutes into the show and the first two fighters are in the ring. That is not terrible for an MMA show.
1:36 a.m. Saadulaev takes the back standing. He picks up Tokoro and slams him down hard. His temple collides with the mat, and he is out cold. Saadulaev lands a few punches before alerting the referee that the fight is over. Impressive stuff.
1:40 a.m. The medical staff took Tokoro out of the ring on a stretcher. Hopefully Sherdog’s Tony Loiseleur, who is at the arena, can get us an update on his condition.
Masakazu Imanari vs. Antonio Banuelos
1:46 a.m. Imanari always comes to the ring to “No Ordinary Love” by Sade. I have always wanted to suggest the Rare Essence cover. Also, “The Voice” said Imanari is the current Deep bantamweight champion, he is not. That is Takafumi Otsuka. Imanari vacated the belt after losing to Bellator signee Hiroshi Nakamura in a non-title fight.
1:53 a.m. Round 1 goes to Imanari on my card. Banuelos did a good job of avoid the Japanese fighter’s odd grappling game, but he was so hesitant to throw. Imanari was able to score consistently with body kicks when Banuelos tried to close the distance.
1:59 a.m. Imanari used Eddie Bravo’s “crack head control.” If this were in the UFC, Joe Rogan would be going crazy. There was not a lot of action in this round, but Banuelos definitely got the better of the striking and mostly neutralized Imanari’s game on the ground. Either party will probably be upset about the decision.
2:01 a.m. Banuelos takes home the victory via split decision.
Rodolfo Marques vs. Bibiano Fernandes
2:06 a.m. As Rodolfo Marques walks out to Three-Six Mafia’s “It’s a Fight,” I am already rethinking taking him to upset Fernandes. However, the former Dream featherweight champion then comes out to a Linkin Park/Jay-Z mash up, so they both lose in the music department.
2:12 a.m. Matt Hume had to fight for his life to get Fernandes’ gi off over his gloves. It did not rival Rogan and the bag of ice, but it was “Yakety Sacks” worthy.
2:19 a.m. After exchanging leg kicks early, Fernandes scored a takedown. Marques got stuck in the corner, and Fernandes went to town on his body and legs with downward elbows. Very impressive round from Fernandes.
2:26 a.m. Much better round from Marques. He was able to defend several takedowns. However, he still got stung twice by big shots from Fernandes. In no way was this enough to offset the body beatdown the former champion put on in the first round.
2:28 a.m. Bibiano Fernandes takes the fight via unanimous decision
Masaaki Noiri vs. Kengo Sonoda
2:30 a.m. IF K-1 has anything to say about it, Noiri will forever be known as “That K-1 Koshien guy who beat Hiroya in 2009.”
2:34 a.m. “The Voice” always get so much more enthusiastic when he gets to call a K-1 fight. I tune back in, and he is talking about Karate guys fighting bulls and chopping off the horns with their bare hands.
2:39 a.m. Both fighters are wearing straight black gloves instead of the traditional red and white. This really could be the end for K-1.
2:42 a.m. Sonoda was clearly the more aggressive fighter, but Noiri defended well and continually scored with counter combinations. Noiri clearly got the better of the striking, but K-1 judges always have a tendency to score the guy with the higher output.
2:46 a.m. Round 2 was a much better round for Sonoda. He easily closed the distance and landed on the inside. However, with less than a minute left, Noiri went for a jumping knee that did not seem to land clean. However, Sonoda lost his balance, and the referee gave him a standing eight count. Under K-1 rules that automatically gives Noiri a 10-8 round, which is huge in a three-round fight.
2:50 a.m. Noiri finally decided to use his height and reach advantage. He continually scored with straight punches and kicks. A series of punishing leg kicks seriously slowed Sonoda. Noiri scored a flying round kick to end the fight. This was his best round of the fight by far.
2:51 a.m. Noiri takes the fight via unanimous decision.
Yuta Kubo vs. Nils Widlund
3:06 a.m. The announcers seem enamored with Kubo. However, all he did was continually throw high kicks to Widlund’s guard. Even during the round break highlights, Kubo misses most of his shot. Widlund landed some nice leg kicks, but he kept trying to score from the clinch, which is illegal.
3:10 a.m. In the second round, Kubo took over. He punished Widlund with straight punches down the pipe. He also worked the body with hooks and kicks. To make matters worse, Widlund lost a point for trying to land a clinch-knee with the double Thai plum.
3:13 a.m. Kubo really turned it on in the third round. He came out with a series of jumping knees to the body. The knees took a toll on Widlund who was clearly gassed before the assault. Later in the round, Kubo dropped him with a left round kick to the head that ended the fight.
3:21 a.m. The card goes to what Schiavello calls “a lengthy intermission,” so HDNet decides to show a fight from a few years ago. It happens to be the final of Dream’s Super-Hulk tournament between Ikuhisa Minowa and Sokoudjou. Minowa scored a surprising knockout. HDNet was running a tape delayed broadcast, and several betting websites left the fight open for betting even after it was over. Good memories.
Hayato Sakurai vs. Ryo Chonan
4:07 a.m.During the prefight highlight package, Dream had to use a still photograph of Chonan’s submission over Anderson Silva. Honestly, Zuffa should give Chonan rights to that video. He has earned it.
4:15 a.m.Early in the first round, Sakurai looks better than he has in years. He lands a hard body kick and then drops Chonan with a hook. However, it might have simply been a slip.
4.20 a.m. After the early success and some good work on top, Sakurai slows down. Chonan works the outside and lands some light leg kicks. The first round ends with Sakurai presses Chonan into the ropes.
4:26 a.m. When the fighters threw strikes, which was rare, it was clear that Sakurai could get the better of the exchanges. However, Sakurai was determined to grapple in round 2. He got a takedown into side control and spent most of the round there before Chonan regained half guard. Schiavello made his first sexual reference of the night too: “more time on his back than my ex-girlfriend.”
4:33 a.m. Sakurai was worn out to start the third round. He had enough energy to get the clinch, but not enough to get takedowns. Chonan started to feel if halfway through the round and started landing. Inside the two minute mark, Sakurai found a blast double and ended up in the mount. Chonan got a late sweep and finished the fight on top. Sakurai did enough to take the decision, but it is not the type of performance that would excite many fans.
4:35 Sakurai takes the fight with a unanimous-decision victory and stops his losing streak.
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
4:44 a.m. Miyata takes home the “Entrance Music of the Night” Award by coming out to the 2Pac/Eye of the Tiger blend.
4:54 a.m. Kawajiri timed Miyata’s strikes to set up a takedown. He landed a double-leg takedown against the ropes and finished it with ease. Kawajiri then passed to side control and the mount. Once there, he held the position, but he struggled to do any damage. Towards the end of the round, he went for a head and arm choke, but it was not close. Get this man to North America, so he can get crazy with elbows from the top.
5:00 a.m. Both fighters scored takedowns, but could not keep the other down. Much better round for Miyata. He landed some nice straight lefts on the feet and some knees in the clinch. However, Kawajiri is able to put the Olympian on the ground whenever he wants. Towards the end of the round, “The Crusher” went for the head and arm choke again. This time he finished it.
Megumi Fujii vs. Karla Benitez
5:06 a.m. The introduction video features footage from Fujii’s fights in Bellator. Bjorn Rebney must not be as tight with the library as other promotion presidents.
5:11 a.m. Karla Benitez took her time literally dancing to the ring. I guess she figures that the fight won’t last very long, and she would be right.
5:16 a.m. The dance definitely took longer than the fight. Fujii avoided a few punches, started a scramble, got on top and finished the fight with an armbar. Who needs wrestling when you can easily use leg locks to sweep and get to the top position? Impressive stuff.
Josh Barnett vs. Hideki Suzuki
5:21 a.m. It is time for some professional wrestling. I just saw someone’s head bounce off a ring post. Josh Barnett is going to take on Hideki Suzuki, who is a regular in Inoki Genome Federation.
5:38 a.m. Barnett is 0 for 789 on submission holds in this “fight.” Please finish this. Haven’t these guys heard of “position before submission”?
5:41 a.m. It is finally over. Please, do not give Barnett a microphone.
5:42 a.m. They gave him a microphone…
5:56 a.m. This is not a joke. The broadcast came back from commercial with Antonio Inoki crucified on a huge cross. He just put Kimo to shame.
6:04 a.m. A guy in a turban just hit Inoki in the head with a kendo stick. You can’t make this up. This needs to stop.
Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Katsunori Kikuno
6:23 a.m. These two could not be more different. Kikuno had a classical violinist perform his entrance song. Nagashima had a huge entourage in anime costumes including one guy dressed like a Transformer or something.
6:30 a.m. Kikuno came out like a house of fire and even dropped his opponent. He was owning the round with straight punches and clinch knees. With 30 seconds left Nagashima came back and dropped Kikuno with a left hook.
6:35 a.m. The second round started just like the first, except Kikuno was not nearly as effective. Eventually the former Deep champion got Nagashima’s back standing and drug him to the ground. Once there, he took the back and pounded out his opponent. MMA 1 Jienostu 1
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Antonio Banuelos
6:47 a.m. Banuelos tripped as he was backing out of exchange. Fernandes seized on the opportunity. He pounced on top an unleashed a series of devastating right hands. Once Banuelos turned over, he continued to eat shots and the referee saved him. Fernandes is the first-ever Dream bantamweight champion.
6:55 a.m. There is another professional wrestling intermission. Trust me, it will be ridiculous.
7:20 a.m. Since Kazushi Sakuraba’s match is coming up, I guess it is a good time to mention one of his opponents. Earlier, I mentioned that Shinichi Suzukawa was the first sumo wrestler dismissed for cannabis possession. He also went crazy during a worked match with Mark Coleman and legitimately attacked the former UFC champion. Check out the video.
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi Inoue
8:23 a.m. Despite not having the reach or height, Takaya had very little trouble closing the distance and landing some shots. His best weapon was leg kicks to the lead leg on Lion. Takeshi is a notorious slow starter, and it is not like he got blown out of the water in round 1.
8:29 a.m. Takeshi’s strategy is to circle away and land counters. However, Takaya is doing a great job of cutting the ring off with foot work. When “Lion” tries to circle out, he has been eating leg kicks and wild hooks. When he can counter, he has hurt Takaya
8:36 a.m. In round 3, Takaya changed it up and started the round with a takedown. Takeshi did a good job of getting to guard and returning to his feet. After that it was more of the same. Takaya landing with legs kicks and doing well when he catches Takeshi in the corner.
8:41 a.m. “Lion” has had almost zero offense since the first round. He continues to circle away on his bicycle, but he is not countering or coming forward. Towards the end of round 4, Takaya is starting to feel it and land more shot.
8:48 a.m. The last round was more of the same. CompuStrike numbers for this bout would be very interesting. Takeshi has not throw much since round 1. With less than a minute to go, he finally comes forward and lands some power shot. It is much too little too late.
Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka
8:59 a.m. The introduction video for Aoki-Kitaoka is amazing, but it would be so much better with translation or at least subtitles. I am looking at you HDNet.
9:14 a.m. A lot of people will say that Aoki is a one-dimensional fighter. In reality, Kitaoka is a one-dimensional fighter. It is clear from the first round that he is the better wrestler and striker. Neither fighter’s submission hold was very close, but the round easily went to Aoki.
9:22 a.m. Watching Aoki’s top game is something special. He is eating up the guard of a great grappler. After the stand up, he continued to show off his striking advantage with his kicking game. He was a solid kicker to begin with, but his recent training with Evolve MMA is paying dividends.
9:28 a.m. Aoki probably could finish this fight on the feet. He is clearly winning the fight on top, but he is not going to finish that way. I am sure he is still nervous about his chin, but he could open up and probably take it.
9:33 a.m. The champion had the fight won with the knees, but he decided to take it back to the ground. It is pretty clear that he is not going to finish the rear-naked choke. Next time he should keep it on the feet and finish with knees.
9:40 a.m. Kitaoka made it a little interesting at the end with his best Hayato Sakurai impersonation. However, this was clearly Aoki’s fight from the beginning.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
9:58 a.m. It was pretty clear that Ishii did not have a lot on the feet. He landed one shot down the pipe, but other than that, it was just a matter of time. Emelianenko can still crack, and Ishii is still learning the striking game. Big time knockout from the former Pride FC champion.