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DREAM 10 Set for July 20th

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With the dust still settling from UFC 100, MMA fans across the Pacific are already gearing up for ‘DREAM 10.’ The event features the conclusion of the 2009 Welterweight Grand Prix as well as a highly anticipated lightweight bout between Shinya Aoki and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. In another interesting match-up, feared striker/K-1 kickboxer Melvin Manhoef will face off against former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was previously rumoured to fight Siala Siliga in a heavyweight matchup; but with “Cro Cop” officially signing with the UFC, that rumour is dead. MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba is also a possibility to compete, but this has yet to be confirmed.
The Welterweight Grand Prix semi-finals will consist of two bouts; the first of which features Jason High, the only American in the tournament, facing dangerous Brazilian Andre Galvao. Both won their opening round match-ups in impressive fashion with Galvao beating the much more experienced John Alessio and High submitting his opponent, Yuya Shirai, in only 59 seconds. High is the veteran of the two; having four years of MMA experience with promotions such as Affliction and DREAM. Although keeping somewhat of a low profile in the MMA community, High managed to build up a six-fight winning streak before having it snapped last January. Galvao, a former three-time World Jiu-Jitsu champion, has accomplished a surprising amount in only one year of fighting. He has already racked up three wins; all over far more seasoned opponents. A tournament win would certainly prove that Galvao is certainly more than just a grappler.
The second welterweight match is between Hayato Sakurai and Marius Zaromskis. Sakurai’s MMA career spans all the way back to 1996; including fights for numerous organizations including Shooto, PRIDE, DREAM and the UFC. He pulled off a massive upset in the first round, taking out Japanese superstar Shinya Aoki in only 27 seconds. Sakurai has begun to resurrect his career with eight wins in his last nine outings. His opponent, Zaromskis is a veteran of the former British promotion Cage Rage. His first round decision victory against Seichi Ikemoto was the first time one of his fights went the distance; so it’s safe to say Zaromskis will do whatever he can to not leave it in the judges’ hands again.
In a match reminiscent of the early days of MMA, Jiu-Jitsu and Judo expert Filho will take on Manhoef. Filho, a veteran of both PRIDE and the WEC, suffered his first career loss in a rematch with Chael Sonnen at WEC 36. Before then he had rattled off 16 straight wins; fighting mostly in Pride. Filho failed to make weight for the bout and he did not seem himself during the bout. He’ll look to rebound in his DREAM debut against Manhoef. Manhoef’s five-fight winning streak was snapped at DREAM 6 when he was submitted, via triangle choke, by Gegard Mousasi. Manhoef rebounded in a big way; defeating Mark Hunt with only one punch at Dynamite!! 2008. This bout could go either way. It really depends if the majority of the bout is spent on the feet or the ground.
Finally, in one of the most underrated matches of the summer, two grappling experts face off when Shinya Aoki takes on Victor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. Aoki won the WAMMA lightweight championship, receiving the belt with his defeat over top contender Eddie Alvarez. He then defended his title against David Gardner. However, the Japanese star is coming off a devastating loss in the first round of the Welterweight Grand Prix when he moved up a weight class to fight Sakurai. He’ll look to rebound against the talented Brazilian. Ribeiro, the former Shooto and Cage Rage lightweight champion, took a year-and-a-half off from the sport after his loss to Gesias Calvancante. He made his return at DREAM 8 with a first round stoppage against Katsuhiko Nagata. Expect this match to end up on the ground with both fighters battling for position.
DREAM is quickly growing into one of the largest and most exciting MMA promotions in the world. The over-the-top fighter entrances along with tournament fighting, a feature which many miss from the early days of the UFC, is reminiscent of the glory days of PRIDE, which is great news for any fans who have been missing the former Japanese super promoter. DREAM 11 and 12 have already been scheduled for the fall, with the Featherweight Grand Prix set to round up in September and the Super Hulk Grand Prix second round scheduled for October.

 

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