We also had our supply of Rockstar Energy drinks ready for this morning’s Dream 15. You weren’t the only one. Staying up for the duration of a Dream event is an accomplishment everyone should note in their resume. Judging from the people who wake up in a puddle of drool on their keyboard the following morning, it’s not an easy task. Some of you made it to the intermission and that deserves some sort of reward. Unfortunately, the only item I have left is a commemorative Medieval Times drinking stein that looks so amazing that I think I will retract my initial offer and just keep it. Sorry.
Dream 15 opened up with Kazuhiro Nakamura banging against Karl Amoussou in a fight everyone thought would go to The Psycho. What people fail to realize is that Nakamura is the same dude that defeated Yoshida in his own retirement fight and he did it weighing nearly 40lbs lighter than Yoshida. Combine that with wins over Bustamante, Cyborg, Igor Vovchanchyn, Randleman and you may just want to smack yourself in the face for thinking he couldn’t get it done this morning. Amoussou seemed to be winning the stand-up, but Nakamura repeatedly and almost effortlessly took him to the ground. Karl maintained a closed-guard and continued to give every jiu-jitsu practioner blue-balls for the duration of the fight. In the end, Nakamura grabbed the W bringing a halt to Amoussou’s three-fight win-streak.
Ishida versus DJ Taiki was next on the menu but was preceded by Michael Schiavello commentating on the trapezoids of Mitsuhiro Ishida. In fact, Schiavello commentating on the physique of fighters is something that we all have to accept as a part of our lives. It’s an existential constant, like the falling of leaves in autumn or the Dallas Mavericks blowing a perfectly good season in the playoffs, every year. The fight began with Ishida landing a right-hook and quickly taking DJ to the ground. Aside from Ishida’s cauliflower ear opening up like an overheated Hot Pocket, that was essentially how the entire bout played out. Absolute domination by Ishida with a convincing unanimous decision win.
Omigawa proved tonight that he looks like a Japanese Manny Pacquiao and there’s nothing we can do about it. Alright, Pacquiao with a little Care Bear thrown in there. Jong Young Sam endured 8:45 minutes of being punched in the face, rough-necked and generally outworked only to be tapped-out by Omigawa via guillotine. After Michihiro released his submission, a congealed clump of blood escaped from Jong Young Sam’s mouth as if to say ‘Dude, enough of me being in this body. I want out’. Omigawa then got on the microphone and yelled ‘[expletive] you’ to everyone inside the Saitama Super Arena and left the ring. That’s about as baller as it gets folks.
Next was Melvin Manhoef vs. Tatsuya Mizuno in a fight that you never thought would end the way it did (but in the back of your mind you really did). After being yelled at by Mike Passenier for the better part of his entrance, Melvin Manhoef faced the audience and danced down the aisle like he unexpectedly found a handful of candy corn. However, his 96% KO ratio nor his leather skirt could stop him from tapping out to a well-placed kimura late in the first round. That makes for Manhoef’s second consecutive career loss but still does not negate the fact that I owe him $700 from a wager that we made earlier this year. I owe money to the man with the highest KO ratio in MMA. Damn.
This morning, Jake O’Brien looked like every kid who’s ever challenged me to an armpit-fart contest in elementary school. Coming out to 2pac was clever, but when you’re facing Gegard Mousasi, you may just need a little bit more to pull off the win. Every potential card in every deck in this universe was stacked against Jake at Dream 15. In just thirty-one seconds, Mousasi ended the fight via guillotine and probably exuded more energy walking out to his techno trance entrance than in tonight’s fight.
If you’re not familiar with Kikuno, we suggest you watch Saw I-IV and take a really good look at that jigsaw porcelain doll. I’m pretty sure they’re related. Katsunori Kikuno has the undisputed creepiest smile in MMA. They say if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If Dream gives you Katsunori Kikuno…just run the other way at your earliest convenience. In his Dream 10 fight against Andre Amade, dude came out to ‘We are the world’. Kikuno is on a different level. Kikuno is on a level that I never want to visit. If I ever accidentally found myself on Kikuno’s level, I would hail the nearest taxi and get the hell out of there as soon as possible. Many regarded Katsunori Kikuno to be an absolute lock tonight, unfortunately those people (including me) had no idea what they were talking about. In a split-decision, JZ grabbed the win over Kikuno who seemed to convincingly win the first round but spent the rest of the fight desperately escaping a potpouri of submissions from Cavalcante.
Finally. The fight that everyone wanted to see but just couldn’t stay up long enough for it. Kawajiri came to the ring wearing what appeared to be a cybernetic hoodie from the future that traveled back in time just to make everyone recognize what awesome would look like if it were made from fish-nets. Shinya Aoki walked out without his magical pants which apparently was lost in some magical dry cleaners that no one really cares about. The fight opened up with the two circling each other followed by Shinya Aoki diving for Kawajiri’s leg. Within seconds, Aoki claimed Kawajiri’s heel/ankle as part of his own and did not let go until something brutally ripped from it’s ligament. In under two-minutes, Aoki tore every possible tendon in Kawajiri’s ankle which forced him to abruptly tap out. It was over. Shinya Aoki grabbed the W over another lightweight that appeared to be vastly stronger than him. After the victory, Aoki got on the microphone and said he was going to marry his long time girlfriend. He then grabbed the mic again and said he’s going to face Gilbert Melendez again on September 25th in Nagoya, Japan. Not sure which one of those statements is more shocking.
There you have it. Another great night of fights from Japan that you missed because you were too busy enjoying the comfort of your pillow. Shame on you.