Kazushi Sakuraba will fight at Dream 17. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson
Two new additions to the Dream 17 fight card have been announced by the promotion, making 10 bouts now official for the Sept. 24 event.
Middleweights Gerald Harris and Kazuhiro Nakamura will collide at the show, as will welterweights Kazushi Sakuraba and Yan Cabral. Also featuring the opening round of the promotion’s inaugural bantamweight world grand prix, the show emanates from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Harris, 31, was released by the UFC last year following his first loss with the promotion. Prior to his defeat at the hands of Maiquel Falcao at UFC 123, Harris had posted three-straight Octagon victories. Since his departure from the UFC, “Hurricane” has gone 1-1, dropping a unanimous decision to James Head in February before rebounding with a win over Anthony Ruiz in May.
One year the elder of his opponent, Nakamura most recently recovered from back-to-back defeats by winning two straight. The Pride Fighting Championships veteran competed twice in 2010, notching unanimous decisions over Hidehiko Yoshida and Karl Amoussou. The judo black belt holds 11 of his 15 career wins by decision.
One of the pioneers of Japanese mixed martial arts, Sakuraba is revered by many as one of the greatest fighters of all-time. The face of Pride for many years, “The Gracie Hunter” is now in the twilight of his career. The 42-year-old has been beaten in each of his last three outings, falling to Ralek Gracie, Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Marius Zaromskis last year. Sakuraba’s Dream 17 appearance will be his first outing of 2011.
Cabral is undefeated through three-plus years as a professional, and the Nova Uniao product has finished all nine of his conquered opponents by submission. The Brazilian has fought the entirety of his career in Europe, with the exception of a single appearance in Shooto Brazil in 2008. The 28-year-old has made especially effective use of the arm-triangle choke, with four of his victories coming courtesy of the hold.