JZ, Aoki Meet in Japan

By Stephen Martinez Mar 13, 2008
SAITAMA, Japan, March 13 -- Fight Entertainment Group along with former Pride staff kicked off the official activities for the inaugural Dream event to be held Saturday at Saitama Arena.

After the rules meeting, it was officially announced that the match between Shinya Aoki (Pictures) and Gesias "JZ" Calvancante would be the main event.

"I feel very honored to fight Gesias Calvancante (Pictures), but also I can feel the pressure now to be the main event," Aoki said. "My thoughts about Calvancante and me fighting are not so simple, but I can see the fight becoming a match of skills between Calvancante's striking against my submissions. Anyways, I will use all my available techniques and win this match."

As Aoki was in the closing moments of the interview, the candid Calvancante entered the room along with his American Top Team entourage to wait for his turn with the media. With just a few steps separating both fighters, Calvancante approached Aoki in a respectful manner and greeted the Japanese fighter. Seconds later, after shaking hands and offering courteous smiles, both fighters took the time to pose together for photographs.

Later Calvancante said the knee injury that sidelined him last December -- when he was originally scheduled to fight Aoki at the Yarennoka show -- is 100 percent. Anticipating that the Japanese ace grappler is most dangerous when using the rubber guard, JZ said he had trained with jiu-jitsu specialist Eddie Bravo, who helped Aoki in the past tune up his dangerous guard.

Perhaps due to jet lag or his indifference for anything related to the media, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic seemed less than happy when discussing his match against Japanese judoka Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures).

The Croatian heavyweight said he had traveled to Japan without seeing any footage of his opponent. However, he added that his team had since acquired some video of Mizuno and he wasn't concerned about the short time to study his opponent and formulate a plan.

Ikuhisa Minowa (Pictures) still doesn't have an opponent, but that will more than likely change tomorrow at the official news conference and weigh-in.

Bout order:
Ikuhisa Minowa (Pictures) vs. TBA
Hayato Sakurai (Pictures) vs. Hidetaka Monma (Pictures)
Kotetsu Boku (Pictures) vs. Joachim Hansen (Pictures)
Kazuyuki Miyata (Pictures) vs. Luiz Buscape
Katsuhiko Nagata (Pictures) vs. Artur Oumakhanov (Pictures)
Mitsuhiro Ishida (Pictures) vs. Jung Bu-Kyung
Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) vs. Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures)
Andre Amade (Pictures) vs. Eddie Alvarez (Pictures)
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Pictures) vs. Kultar Gill (Pictures)
Shinya Aoki (Pictures) vs. Gesias Calvancante (Pictures)
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