Dream ‘Fight for Japan’ Results & Play-by-Play

May 28, 2011
Sherdog.com’s Tony Loiseleur will report from the Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo at approximately 3 a.m. ET with play-by-play and live results of Dream “Fight for Japan.”

The event features the quarter- and semi-finals of Dream’s bantamweight tournament, and will be headlined by world-ranked lightweight Shinya Aoki vs. UFC veteran Rich Clementi.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card. Click here for quick results.

Press F5 on your keyboard to refresh this page, as play-by-play is updated in real time.

The event starts off with Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba addressing the crowd in a suit, reciting a speech about the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and how tonight's "Dream: Fight For Japan" event is organized to not only help, but through its fighters to inspire Japan to never give up.

The opening VTR promo that follows highlights the fact that this Dream event is in fact, not "Dream 17," but rather the prelude to it. Dream 17 is revealed to be scheduled for July 16, 2011, set to go down at Ariake Coliseum. This announcement is further hammered home by what is ostensibly the secondary theme of this Fight for Japan card: "It is a dire situation. This isn't a Dream anymore, it's real. Tonight's fights are a fight for survival [for Dream 17]."

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout:
Yusaku Nakamura vs. Atsushi Yamamoto

Round 1
Moritaka Oshiro oversees our first tournament bout, this evening. Nakamura takes the center and baits Nakamura by dropping his hands. Nakamura lands a hard right that momentarily drops Yamamoto to all fours, but he quickly recovers. Nakamura rails him with a stiff left to the face that buckles Yamamoto's knees again, and again, he recovers. Nakamura lobs another big punch and drops Yamamoto a third time, but can't finish as Yamamoto aims for a single while recovering. Nakamura defends this first takedown attempt, but the second puts him down against the ropes. Nakamura tries a straight armbar from the omoplata position but quickly gives it up. The Krazy Bee fighter thus pushes his way into guard to start dropping the ground-and-pound. Nakamura tries for another straight armbar, this time like the one Michihiro Omigawa put on Cole Escovedo, but it's a no-go. Yamamoto improves to half guard, but as he tries to move to mount, Nakamura reverses and stands it back up. Both men trade big singles at the center as notification of the halfway point of the first 10 minutes is announced overhead.

Yamamoto gets a takedown and parks in half guard, dropping more punches. He soon passes to side control and continues to drop fistic punishment. Yamamoto allows himself back into half guard, but it makes little difference as he's still clobbering Nakamura. It appears as if his coming in on late notice gave him no time to prepare for the 10-minute round. Yamamoto momentarily mounts Nakamura, but the Osaka-based fighter quickly recovers guard. Yamamoto just passes back to mount and continues to pound away. Nakamura looks like he's had it -- he turns away momentarily, giving the sign to Oshiro to jump in for the save. The official time on the stoppage was 8:43 of the opening period.

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout:
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hideo Tokoro

Round 1
Dream head referee Yuji Shimada is our third man in the ring for this tournament bout. Maeda explodes forward with a flurry of big punches, and Tokoro responds with a head kick. Maeda pushes through it and both men are throwing down like there's no second fight tonight. Maeda taunts Tokoro to come at him. Tokoro does and they both get hit. A lot. Then Maeda does something very strange -- he puts distance between the two of them and paces the perimeter of the ring, yowling like an injured animal. Then he says, "OUCH!" in Japanese very loud, followed by, "COME ON!"

They continue banging it out in the center then, with Tokoro landing some very big shots, forcing Maeda to go for the takedown. Tokoro reverses him, trying for a kimura from above. Maeda squirms out and they're back on their feet. Maeda now mimes Katsunori Kikuno's "zombie stance." Tokoro, unfazed, keeps position in the center and lands some brutal punches and knees. Maeda lunges forward with a right jab, left straight. Tokoro turns for a spinning-back fist and rattles Maeda. Maeda retreats and Tokoro collides into his chin head-first. They stop briefly to let Maeda recover.

When they resume, Maeda starts throwing a bit straighter and it works out for him as he drops Tokoro with a big left straight. Maeda closes to finish but gets stuck in Tokoro's guard, so he has to settle for short punches, body-body-head style.

Tokoro scrambles to his feet and just evades a head kick from Maeda. Maeda is throwing two-punch combinations, but Tokoro slips and sways out of the way. Maeda throws the Seiichi Ikemoto double-fist punch to no effect. Tokoro is starting to mix in low kicks with his punch combinations now, to great effect. Both men are smiling widely and give each other a high five as they trade stiff single shots to the face. Maeda eats a big knee to the gut as he dives in for a takedown, followed by a Tokoro flying triangle. It doesn't look that cinched, but the bell rings shortly before Tokoro can adjust.

Round 2
The commentating crew this evening said that they just overheard Maeda's corner saying that he's injured, but they can't find out specifics.

Just after the bell for round two rings, Tokoro targets a punch for the guts that go, unfortunately, straight into Maeda's groin. Much writhing from Maeda and video replays from different angles follow.

Guest commentator Tatsuya Kawajiri says, "I can relate with Maeda. Whenever I've had important fights, I haven't been able to come through."

It's been perhaps five minutes and Maeda is still lying on the canvas with the doctors looking over him. Kawajiri apparently relates even more with Maeda now as he recalls on air how his 2006 fight with Joachim Hansen ended in just eight seconds due to a low blow from the Norwegian.

Maeda finally gets to his feet, but it's clear that he's limping around. He can't even walk straight, but he seems to want to continue. Tokoro shoots in for the takedown and Maeda lets out a cry and cringes from bottom. His corner then throws in the towel, ending the fight at the 43 second mark.

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout:
Keisuke Fujiwara vs. Masakazu Imanari

Round 1
Kenichi Serizawa officiates our third tourney bout tonight. After a tense opening minute or so of either man measuring each distance and feinting, Imanari fires first with two (missed) flying kicks. Fujiwara fires back with occasional low and body kicks. Imanari continues to fly at Fujiwara with middle and thrusting side kicks. Serizawa calls a temporary stop to warn both fighters to fight less conservatively.

Imanari closes in for the clinch off of a middle kick and puts Fujiwara against the ropes. Fujiwara defends, but cannot stop the followup leg scissors takedown. Imanari fishes for the heel hook and almost gets it twice, but Fujiwara defends and forces his way into the Ashikan Judan's guard. The Deep champ throws palm strikes to the side of the ZST champ's ears, trying to force movement. Imanari tries for the rubber guard and Fujiwara prevents the lockdown, sitting up to drop punches.

Imanari elevates and sweeps Fujiwara, taking top in side control, where he unleashes knees to Fujiwara's ribs. The ZST vet replies in kind with knees from bottom to the side of Imanari's head. Imanari takes mount and remains snugly on top as he drops short punches and shoulder strikes to Fujiwara's head. Imanari postures up and drops a few hard punches before he is kicked off.

They're back standing, but it doesn't stay there long. Imanari misses another leg scissors takedown, but that's nothing a guard pull won't solve. The round ends with Imanari on his back, looking to land up-kicks on Fujiwara.

Round 2
The nonchalant Imanari sticks again to the outer perimeter, throwing flying kicks and punches Fujiwara's way every so often. Fujiwara closes in to throw a left hook and then quickly backs away as Imanari drops for a leg. It doesn't catch and Imanari stands up to bide his time for the next attempt. It comes off of a hook, body kick combo from Fujiwara. Imanari eats the blows and again tries to drop for a leg after and misses it.

Fujiwara lands a big right hook and drops Imanari against the ropes. It's unclear whether Imanari was really clobbered or if he just took the punch to get close enough to take the fight to the ground. Either way, Fujiwara sees he can't finish here and so backs off to stand the fight back up.

The second big punch is a left from Fujiwara that appears to have sparked Imanari or at least buckled his knees. Fujiwara lunges in to finish, and in true Ashikan Judan fashion, Imanari falls back and tries to work off his back under fire in the last 20 seconds. He puts Fujiwara in the rubber guard but can't lock anything up before the bell.

Official scores: All three judges -- Hikaru Adachi, Samio Kimura and Akira Shoji -- rule the bout for Masakazu Imanari to advance to the semi-finals.

A brief break from fighting sees us paying tribute to Tomoya Miyashita, who last year was diagnosed with a mediastinal tumor. Though he recently had surgery to remove the tumor, he is apparently still afflicted with leukemia. Sengoku veteran and former Pride grand prix winner Kazuo Misaki takes to the ring to talk about Miyashita.

He talks about his training partner in Miyashita, and how the best form of treatment now lies in bone marrow transplant. However, as the chances of finding a matching donor are incredibly slim, he hopes to encourage fans to register as marrow donors.

He then segues into the plight of the tsunami survivors, claiming that though he doesn't believe everyone can be saved, that martial arts can hopefully inspire and encourage them to push onward.

Another pair of matchups are announced for July 16's Ariake Coliseum event, Dream 17. Returning from Strikeforce, Tatsuya Kawajiri will face UFC veteran Willamy "Chiquerim" Friere, while surging Kazuyuki Miyata will challenge featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya.

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout:
Kenji Osawa vs. Takafumi Otsuka

Round 1
Moritaka Oshiro is our referee for this final tournament quarter final. Otsuka takes the center and walks Osawa into the corners, but Osawa fires back with head and body kicks as well as punches to keep the younger fighter at bay. Unfazed, Otsuka continues to walk him down, countering with punches where he sees openings. Otsuka's offensive output is much less than Osawa's however. Though he may be pushing Osawa into the corners, it's Osawa who is scoring with the punches and kicks to the body here. Otsuka drops levels for a takedown while he has Osawa in a corner, but Osawa pries him up and off into the clinch.

They disengage and Osawa is now working in jabs and rights to the body. Otsuka drops and drives, taking Osawa's back in the scramble against the ropes. Osawa is on all fours now, with Otsuka in riding time position, looking for ways to break Osawa's base down and put him on the mat. Osawa gets it back to the feet and gets back to circling and pot-shotting from the outside.

Otsuka lands a nice right hand, followed by a missed one-two into a takedown. Osawa momentarily gives up his back while getting it to the feet, but he's able to disengage and return to taking his shots from the outside. Osawa is still landing with great, solid hooks to the body on Otsuka. Otsuka eats two jabs before careening into Osawa for the clinch. Osawa lands a few punches to the body followed by some knees before spinning out of the clinch. Otsuka dives in for the clinch again and his head crashes into Osawa's right eye. He's given a moment to recover.

An Osawa one-two seems to buckle Otsuka's knees. Osawa's hesitation to finish sees Otsuka drive for a takedown. He doesn't get it, but he does put Osawa against the ropes. Osawa chucks Otsuka off and continues to mash him up with jabs and hooks to the body. Osawa is mixing in head and body kicks with his punches just before the round ends.

Otsuka appears to have a big mouse over his left eye.

Round 2
Osawa starts off the second period with stinging jabs. After landing them, he promptly dances out of the way and resets for more of them. Otsuka doesn't seem to have an answer for this. He throws a kick to the body that almost gets him tripped to the mat, followed by punches against the ropes that Osawa defends well against.

Osawa's jabs frustrate Otsuka into diving for the double. Osawa stuffs him. Otsuka opens up his arms, taunting Osawa to engage with him. Osawa mimes him, inviting him to stop the jab assault if he can. Otsuka then gets a takedown to put Osawa on his posterior. Otsuka takes Osawa's back for a moment but then gives it up to work from a mix between riding time and a headlock position.

Otsuka then tries for a back-mounted crucifix. Otsuka is unable to get anything to finish out the fight however as the bell rings soon after.

Official scores: The judges give the press a tense feeling for a moment as judge Samio Kimura sees it for Takafumi Otsuka. However, judges Masanori Ohashi and Kenichi Serizawa see it rightly for Osawa, giving him the split decision and his pass to the semifinals.

Fight proceedings take a brief break as Dream announces a matchup for its July 16 Dream 17 card: Gegard Mousasi versus Hiroshi Izumi. Apparently, it's for the light heavyweight title, as Izumi is announced as a challenger to Mousasi.

Joachim Hansen vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida
Round 1
Samio Kimura will be officiating this bout. Ishida darts in and targets Hansen's legs. Hansen tentatively fires back with his right jab. Ishida lands a knee-buckling left straight, but doesn't capitalize to finish. He closes in with more punches and lands in the clinch. He attempts to throw Hansen over his shoulder, but Hansen takes his back instead. Calmly and cooly, Ishida shucks Hansen over his shoulders and takes top in guard. Hansen throws right hooks from bottom to Ishida's ear. Hansen shrimps, likely looking for a sweep. Ishida places himself firmly back in his guard, preventing this however. Hansen goes for the rubber guard and gets his shin briefly under Ishida's chin, but Ishida frees himself. Kimura breaks them up.

Hansen misses a huge knee, but in the ensuing scramble as Ishida tries to escape, he gives up his back in the rear waistlock. Hansen picks Ishida up and suplexes him. Hansen then goes for the armbar and Ishida barely escapes. Hansen drops a few punches to Ishida's dome before then going for the triangle. Ishida squirms free and Hansen looks again for the triangle while punching Ishida's face from bottom. Ishida resituates himself in guard and lets off a nice salvo of punches and hammer fists. Hansen gets to his feet but gives up his back in the waist-lock. Ishida lands knees to the back of Hansen's legs before trying a suplex of his own. Hansen spins around and pancakes in response, preventing this.

Ishida drops for a single leg from behind and Hansen counters with an armbar attempt. Hansen can't get his outside leg over Ishida's face however. They disengage and get back to striking. Hansen misses a monster hook-uppercut. Ishida drives for a single and puts Hansen down against the ropes. They're repositioned by Kimura with one minute left on the clock. Ishida improves to half guard momentarily, but Hansen pulls him back into full guard and puts a few punches on the side of his head. Hansen stands up with Ishida stuck on his back in the rear wait-lock just before the bell.

Round 2
Both men trade head kicks. Hansen pushes forward with jabs, trying to close the distance for a brain splattering left straight. Ishida whips Hansen to the mat with a nice single rather than continuing to engage him in the standup. Ishida throws short punches at Hansen's head, but they're all blocked. Hansen stands up, giving up his back. Hansen breaks Ishida's grip, spins around and looks to be trying for a guillotine. Ishida pushes him into the corner and Kimura breaks them up.

Hansen gives chase to Ishida as he circles the ring, but when he lunges with punches, Ishida ducks under for the takedown. Hansen is put on his posterior momentarily, and again, he gives up his back as he gets to his feet. Kimura breaks them up again.

Ishida retreats again, forcing Hansen to chase and over commit on killshot punches. Again, Ishida ducks under and takes Hansen down against the ropes. Kimura repositions them in the final thirty seconds to the center of the ring. Hansen punches from bottom while Ishida punches from above. Hansen tries again for the rubber guard and transitions to the omoplata, but can't finish it before the bell.

Official scores:Judge Masanori Ohashi and Akira Shoji see it for Hansen, while judge Hikaru Adachi sees it for Ishida.

"Lion" Takeshi Inoue vs. Koichiro Matsumoto
Round 1
Matsumoto tests the waters with low kicks as "Lion" pushes forward into range. Matsumoto explodes with a one-two, sparking Inoue and putting him momentarily on his posterior. Inoue pops to his feet resets. The Deep vet lobs low kicks again, while Inoue puts in a few low kicks of his own. Inoue lunges in and they clash in the clinch. Both men mash each other to the body with punches in the clinch. Shimada breaks them up just as Lion launches a high knee to Matsumoto's face. He isn't seriously hurt, but he is a little annoyed.

Inoue walks Matsumoto down into the corner but doesn't throw anything. Matsumoto, on the other hand, throws punches before circling out and away. Inoue lands a snapping one-two and smashes Matsumoto against the ropes. Matsumoto shucks him off and throws a jab-uppercut that graze. Inoue shuffles forward and narrowly avoids two big Matsumoto punches. Inoue plants two hard low kicks that has Matsumoto tripping up some. Matsumoto throws a big three-piece that Lion blocks. Referee Yuji Shimada steps in to warn both men that their tactical affair won't be tolerated. So, Lion comes back from this with a big right straight that rattles Matsumoto and puts him on his back. Inoue falls to the canvas to finish with punches, and Matsumoto covers up and rolls to his side. It's here that Shimada steps in for the stop, however, Matsumoto gets to his feet and protests the stoppage when he realizes that Inoue isn't hitting him anymore. The official end comes at 6:51 of the first round, giving Inoue the stoppage win.

Caol Uno vs. "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura
Round 1
Uno gets busy quickly, targeting body punches and low kicks at the attack-ready Nishiura. "Wicky" lobs some low kicks at the UFC vet in an attempt to catch him and slow him down, but Uno continues to dance just out of range, lunging in with single shots and low kicks. Uno ducks for a single, but pulls back at the last minute just before Nishiura almost swipes his face off with a low hook. Uno tries for the single again and though he does not get it, he takes Wicky's back in the rear waistlock, dragging him down to his knees.

Uno hops full onto Wicky's back, despite the pink-haired Shootor's squirming. He can't sink anything, but he does manage to stay glued on his back. It takes several minutes, but Nishiura's squirming eventually does get him a reversal into Uno's guard. Uno reverses that again and takes Nishiura's back momentarily before slipping off and getting back to his feet.

Uno shoots for another takedown and Wicky reverses for a moment. The reversal game tips back in Uno's favor shortly after as Uno slips again to Wicky's back where he threatens with the choke. Uno has only Nishiura's left left locked up from behind, which is probably why he's able to spin into Uno's guard soon after. Uno again reverses and takes Wicky's back in the rear waistlock as he attempts to stand up. Referee Samio Kimura breaks them up once they're back on their feet.

The wily Nishiura lunges with a flying knee which Uno evades and uses as a takedown opening. He again takes Wicky's back in the waistlock however. Without his hooks in, Uno snakes his arms around Nishiura's neck in the rear-naked choke setup, but does so in such a way that it appears to be more of a crank or face lock since he's off to the side of Wicky's back. It looks nasty, but somehow the pink-haired painter survives the submission attempt and hangs on until the bell, seconds later.

Round 2
Uno blocks a Nishiura high kick and starts dancing on the outside again, masking his intent to drop and slide in for the single leg. Wicky stuffs it and they're back in the clinch. Referee Kimura breaks them up momentarily to reapply Uno's breathing strip. When they resume Uno is put against the ropes, defending a barrage of wild punches from Nishiura. He's able to drop and spin around back, again capturing Nishiura's back.

Nishiura fights to keep Uno's arms from wrapping around his neck for the choke, but Uno almost sinks it. Wicky survives and scrambles out, momentarily taking Uno's back. He winds up and takes a huge swipe at Uno's head, but Uno ducks his head to the mat, seeing the punch sail right over his head. Uno rolls and takes Wicky's back again and they struggle back to their feet. In the last 10 seconds, Wicky comes charging with evil intent, swinging with big punches. Uno evades and makes it to the bell.

Official scores:Judges Masanori Ohashi, Akira Shoji and Kaoru Todori all see the bout for the winner by unanimous decision, Caol Uno.

Katsunori Kikuno vs. Daisuke Nakamura
Round 1
Kikuno marches straight forward and throws a bunch of right hands, tagging Nakamura and making him stumble over his own feet. Kikuno continues to walk into Nakamura, swarming with stiff punches, prompting the Kiyoshi Tamura disciple to drop for the takedown. Nakamura locks up a leg but before he can sink a foot lock, Kikuno pulls his leg out and stands. They're broken up by referee Moritaka Oshiro then. Kikuno agains walks forward, throwing punches as Nakamura tries to backpedal and flick counter jabs. Kikuno is landing most of the offense here, but his walking forward sees them quickly tied up. Kikuno gets the trip takedown to take top in half guard, where he drops a bunch of punches to Nakamura's head before the catch wrestler scrambles back to the feet.

Kikuno is just walking forward, hands at his sides, throwing punches. This makes him very easy to hit, and Nakamura does nail him with big right hands and knees to the face. Still, Nakamura's winging shots also see him careen into Kikuno in such a way that Kikuno need only collapse on him for the takedown to take top position. From on top in half, Kikuno drops a few punches and does his best to stay heavy and neutralize Nakamura's scramble attempts. Oshiro breaks them up, and again, Kikuno inexplicably chooses to walk right into fire while lobbing bolos of his own. He connects far less than he fires. He bowls Nakamura over again to take top in half guard. Kikuno harassing Nakamura with short punches for a minute until Oshiro breaks them up and gives Nakamura a yellow card for inactivity. Kikuno walks forward like a punching robot, again eating as many punches as his delivers. Nakamura dives for an armbar as the karateka crashes into him, but nothing comes of it. The round ends with Kikuno on top in half guard, both men apparently resting.

Round 2
A semblance of a stance returns to Kikuno this round, but the action still largely reflects what we saw in the first ten minutes. Kikuno lobs punches, Nakamura attempts to sway out of the way and counter with jabs and knees, and ultimately, they end up on the floor with Kikuno on top, dropping short punches. Nakamura also doesn't appear to mind being taken down very much either, despite the fact that he does very little from his back. During one of this expected ground exchanges, referee Oshiro stands both men up to give them yellow cards for inactivity. Its encouragement is questionable as they simply return to throwing winging punches on the feet. Kikuno pancakes a Nakamura takedown attempt and throws in a little variety with knees to the top of Nakamura's head. Kikuno spins around, transitioning to riding time position then, where he punches at the left side of Nakamura's head. Nakamura falls to his side and pulls Kikuno into half guard just before the bell.

Official scores: All three judges -- Hikaru Adachi, Masanori Ohashi and Akira Shoji -- see the bout for the winner by unanimous decision, Katsunori Kikuno.

Shinya Aoki vs. Rich Clementi
Round 1
Dream flagship referee Yuji Shimada has officiating duties for Aoki-Clementi. They touch gloves and Clementi takes the center. Aoki closes for the clinch, eats a short left hook to the side of the face, and then drops for a single. He puts the American down on the mat. Clementi reaches over to his left side for the kimura from guard and Aoki picks him up to drop him and shake him off. Aoki scrambles half-guard, soon after passing to the mount. Aoki drops a few punches while setting up the top-mounted triangle. Seeing what's coming, Clementi scrambles out from under it, but Aoki maintains the mount. Aoki punches to the back of Clementi's head, then changes to punches to the face as Clementi goes to his side. Shimada hovers closer, threatening to stop the bout. Clementi covers up, but that's all he's doing as Aoki punches away. Aoki starts picking his shots, looking for openings in Clementi's shell defense. It is, of course, just a matter of time until Aoki can coax Clementi's arms away to sink the rear-naked choke.

Five minutes left on the clock and Aoki is still hammering away. Aoki has Clementi's left arm trapped behind his back so Clementi can stop Aoki from racking up these punches. Inexplicably, Shimada breaks them up and gives Clementi a yellow card.

Aoki shoots in and puts Clementi down in the corner again. Shimada repositions them in the center. Clementi reaches over to his left again to look for the kimura, but even if he were to get it, it'd be difficult to finish since Aoki is on top in half-guard. Clementi ties Aoki up in a loose armbar and as the Japanese fighter pulls his arm free, he eats two upkicks. Aoki passes and parks himself in side control. That's where they stay until the bell.

Round 2
They touch gloves. Aoki closes in and takes Clementi's back with a waist-lock. He hops on for full back mount as Clementi drops to the mat. Aoki gets back to work punching at Clementi's head from behind. Clementi, of course, just covers up and endures it. Aoki wraps his arms around in the rear-naked choke setup, but instead of choking Clementi, he puts on a face crank for the tap at 2:32 of round two.

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal Bout:
Atsushi Yamamoto vs. Hideo Tokoro

Round 1
Kenichi Serizawa oversees this tournament semi-final. Tokoro dances on the outside, throwing low kicks as Yamamoto feints and hops about at the center. Yamamoto looks like he wants to lunge in, but stops himself several times as Tokoro puts out his jab as warning. They trade tentative left hooks, but neither connect. Both men have been mostly dancing around each other for four minutes by this point, neither guy putting their stamp on the round.

Tokoro lunges in then and Yamamoto ducks down for the takedown. It's a crazy exchange that eventually sees Yamamoto fighting through and armbar to plant himself in Tokoro's guard. Tokoro gets back to his feet and they're back to tensely feinting at each other and throwing low kicks and single punches. An errant low kick goes into Yamamoto's groin however, prompting a short stop to allow Yamamoto to recover.

They resume and both men are a little more aggressive now. Yamamoto is lunging with his jab, while Tokoro throws and grazes with a high kick. Tokoro mixes in some body punches in between the jabs and low kicks. Yamamoto shoots in for the takedown and is pancaked.

Yamamoto scoring a little more with that snapping jab of his now. Unfortunately, he doesn't keep it up, allowing Tokoro to even things up with unanswered low kicks. Tokoro stuffs another takedown and misses a high kick.

They tensely trade single shots until the bell. Again, neither man is really putting their stamp on this fight.

Round 2
Tokoro lands a nice lunging kick to the body followed by three big leg kicks. Tokoro throws a big right hand and gets a takendown attempt in response. He pancakes Yamamoto and takes his back, but slips off to the side, habing to transition then to the armbar. It's not fully on, and so, Yamamoto is able to reverse and take top in Tokoro's guard. Likely feeling the pressure of the judges' eyes, Yamamoto gets busy dropping punches.

Tokoro scrambles to his feet and they're back at the center. Tokoro is still chopping away with those big, lunging leg kicks, and Yamamoto doesn't check or respond to them. Yamamoto sparks Tokoro with a big left hook then and he goes for the takedown. In the ensuing scramble however, Tokoro takes his back, but he doesn't stay there. Yamamoto reverses and drives into Tokoro, putting him on his posterior. Tokoro tries to pry out an arm for the kimura, but Yamamoto defends this and they scramble a bit more, trading dominant position for the final seconds before the bell.

While judge Ohashi sees the fight for Yamamoto, judges Todori and Shoji vote instead for Tokoro, giving him not only the split decision victory, but his ticket to the finals.

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal Bout:
Masakazu Imanari vs. Kenji Osawa

Round 1
Yuji Shimada has reffing duties for this final fight of the evening. Imanari charges straight in and clasps onto Osawa's arm, dragging him down to guard. However, rather than target the arm with a submission, he reaches down for a foot to put on the toe hold. Osawa hangs on to the submission specialist's midsection until he can pull his leg out. Imanari gets to his feet, retreats, and tries again, dropping down to pull Osawa into his guard. Osawa tries to pass, but Imanari reverses and puts him on his back, taking top in side control. Osawa locks up Imanari's left arm with his legs. Imanari just rolls Osawa over onto all fours and hops onto his back.

Osawa escapes out the back door and stands up over Imanari, dropping punches from standing while the Ashikan Judan throws (and misses) several up-kicks. Shimada breaks them up.

Osawa targets his right hand to the body in between tentative low kicks. Imanari dives for a leg, but Osawa dances out of range. Imanari drops for a single, but Osawa stuffs him and pushes him down to the mat, punching to the head and body from guard. Imanari tries to lock up the rubber guard, but does nothing with it. Both men are punching each other now, Imanari from bottom, Osawa from above. Shimada breaks them up again.

Osawa grazes with a high kick, and Imanari drops and rolls for a leg again. Osawa defends and evades several up-kicks before forcing the stand up again. Imanari dives again to his back and eats a few short punches from Osawa on top. Osawa is railing Imanari with left hands, but they don't seem to be hurting Imanari all that much. They're stood up again.

Imanari hits a spinning back kick and drops again to the floor. Osawa parks himself in guard, right at the bell.

Round 2
They touch gloves, right before Imanari gets a running jump into guard that pulls Osawa down to the canvas. Osawa disengages and stands up, prompting Imanari to follow. He does and follows up with a big looping left hook. The hook is of course camouflage for a level change. Imanari sucks Osawa's foot into his grips and instantly slaps on the heel hook for the immediate tap at the 0:58 mark of round two.

Third place for the Japan bantamweight grand prix will be determined at July 16's Dream 17 between Atsushi Yamamoto and Kenji Osawa. The winner will ostensibly advance on to the Dream world bantamweight grand prix later this year, along with both Imanari and Tokoro, who will both fight on July 16 to determine first and second place.
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