Shirai Victorious! Aoki Vs. “Mach” II In First Round?
Yuya Shirai defeated Korean Yoon Young Kim via rear naked choke in the third round at the clubDEEP event in Tokyo today. This victory will get him one of the eight spots in the first round of the DREAM Welterweight GP that starts on April 5th. Shirai will fight in front of his friends and family in April since he is from the Aichi prefecture where the event will take place.
In other DREAM.8 news, according to MMAWeekly.com, Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai will be one of the first round fights of the GP. These two fought before in SHOOTO just before the awesome PRIDE Lightweight GP in 2005. That was another fight in which I disagreed with the decision.
This is an event where I really understand what the event producers are trying to do. Shirai is from the prefecture where the event takes place, Minowaman/Shibata and Aoki/Sakurai are fights that will draw a crowd (this event doesn’t have a prime time TV slot), and the producers are hoping that Japanese Brazilians, many of which live in Aichi, will attend and support Andrews Nakahara (look at the number of Brazilians who are (possible) participants of the event).
Many of the Japanese Brazilian workers in Nagoya bought tickets when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira participated in PRIDE events that were held there.
OLYMPIA DREAM.8 Welterweight GP 2009 1st Round
Date: April 5th, 2009
Place: Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan
Possible Welterweight GP Fight:
Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai
Welterweight GP Participants:
Featherweight GP Fight:
Hideo Tokoro vs. DJ.taiki
88 kg/194 lbs Fight:
Minowaman vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Andrews Nakahara vs. Zelg “Benkei” Galesic
Possible GP Participants: