DREAM 17 took place on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and featured the opening round of DREAM’s Bantamweight Grand Prix. It was also the premiere for DREAM’s new three five-minute rounds rule.

In the main event, Shinya Aoki proved once again why he is considered one of the top submission fighters and top lightweights in the world by defeating former WEC lightweight champ Rob McCullough via first round submission due to neck crank.

It was Aoki’s sixth straight win and his fifth submission victory since losing to Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision at “Strikeforce: Nashville” in April 2010.

Legendary Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba, now 42, dropped his fourth straight bout, tapping out to and arm triangle choke to Brazil’s Yan Cabral in the second round of their welterweight match-up. The 28-year-old Cabral improved his undefeated record to 10-0.

DREAM 17 results:

Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinals:

  • Rodolfo Marques Diniz def. Yusup Saadulaev by Decision (Unanimous) Rd 3 (5:00)
  • Masakazu Imanari def. Abel Cullum by Submission (Armbar) Rd 3 (0:46)
  • Bibiano Fernandes def. Takafumi Otsuka by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) Rd 1 (0:41)
  • Antonio Banuelos def. Hideo Tokoro by Decision (Split) Rd 3 (5:00)
Non-Tournament Bouts:
  • Ikuhisa Minowa def. Baru Harn by Submission (Scarf Hold Armlock) Rd 1 (4:39)
  • Gerald Harris def. Kazuhiro Nakamura by Decision (Split) Rd 3 (5:00)
  • Satoru Kitaoka def. Willamy Freire by Decision (Split) Rd 3 (5:00)
  • Yan Cabral def. Kazushi Sakuraba by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) Rd 2 (2:42)
  • Takeshi Inoue def. Caol Uno by KO (Head Kick) Rd 1 (4:18)
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Joachim Hansen by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) Rd 3 (2:30)
  • Shinya Aoki def. Rob McCullough by Submission (Neck Crank) Rd 1 (4:57)

Check out the fight between Shinya Aoki and Rob McCullough right here:

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