This is just a friendly programming reminder that DREAM.12:Alvarez vs. Kikuno takes place on October, 25th and will air live from Japan on HDNet. Actually, it begins (11pm/PST on Oct. 24th) just an hour after UFC 104 ends, which means that I, for one, will have a long night on my hands come this Saturday.
DREAM is the spiritual successor of Japan's most successful MMA promotion PRIDE, which was purchased by Zuffa/the UFC in 2007. Since that time, the Japanese promoters regrouped and, to date, have managed to stage eleven DREAM shows of varying degrees of success. The latest, DREAM.12, will be the first event in either DREAM or PRIDE to take place inside of an American-style cage-- in this case a heavenly-looking hexagon. Personally, I applaud the move because, to me, holding MMA fights in a boxing ring invites so many complications (such as getting tangled in the ropes, flying out of the ring, and having to constantly reset grounded fighters) that the sport is clearly much better off without ropes, turnbuckles, or squares of any kind.
However, it's important to know that this announcement does not signal a permanent change in approach. Rather, DREAM's operators, FEG Entertainment, have already announced that their snazzy, white cage will only be used once per year. Of course, none of this would matter if the fights were no good. Luckily for fans, DREAM.12 includes several intriguing match-ups. Some are less-than-competitive, but involve respected, world-ranked fighters against total tomato cans, which is sometimes pretty fun to watch-- the Japanese seem to enjoy that sort of thing, anyway.
Rankings courtesty of USA TODAY/SBN
Ranked Fighters Include: Eddie Alvarez (#3 Lightweight), Chase Beebe (#20 Bantamweight/BW), Yoshiro Maeda (#21 BW), Marius Zaromskis (#15 Welterweight), Paulo Filho (#24 Middleweight), Alistair Overeem (#12 Heavyweight).
Eddie Alvarez vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Chase Beebe vs. Yoshiro Maeda
(WW Champion) Marius Zaromskis vs. Myeon Ho Bae (non-title fight)
Paulo Filho vs. Yoon Dong Sik
Alistair Overeem vs. James Thompson
Zelg Galesic vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Won Sik Park
Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Keisuke Fujiwara vs. Tomoya Miyashita
I'll Post Results Following The Show