Kharitonov-Mighty Mo Added to Dream 6

By Staff Sep 4, 2008
Just under three weeks out from their Sept. 23 middleweight grand prix finale, Dream and K-1 parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group have formalized another trio of bouts for the bill at Saitama Super Arena.

The most high profile of the three added affairs is the anticipated heavyweight clash between Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (Pictures) and Alistair Overeem (Pictures). A match-up several months in the making, confirmed the clash with Overeem late last week.

The mercurial Overeem, 28, has recently regained his stride with a string of impressive victories. After a 2-5 stretch through 2006 and 2007, the high-flying Dutchman has taken three straight victories, including a brutal bashing of Paul Buentello (Pictures) last November to capture Strikeforce's heavyweight crown, and a surprisingly stealthy 71-second submission victory over former K-1 World Grand Prix champion Mark Hunt (Pictures) in July.

Filipovic hasn't seen action since his 56-second axing of an overmatched Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures) at the inaugural Dream event in March. Injuries have since sidelined the Croatian star, forcing him out off of Dream's June and July efforts, where potential opponents ranged from fellow K-1 stalwarts Jerome LeBanner (Pictures) and Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga, as well as a proposed grappling match with Ralek Gracie (Pictures). After pulling out off July 21's Dream effort, "CroCop" announced that he opted for an arthoscopy to heal a nagging right elbow injury, also taking the time to recover from a lingering knee injury.

In other heavyweight action, Sergei Kharitonov (Pictures) will make his return to the ring, taking on the aforementioned Siliga, better known as "Mighty Mo.”

Kharitonov hasn't seen action in a year, having not fought since last September where the well-regarded Russian avenged his February 2006 loss to Alistair Overem with a first-round knockout.

Siligia, best known as a sturdy banger within the K-1 ring, holds a 3-0 mark in MMA, having last bested late-replacement extraordinaire Ruben "Warpath" Villareal in 93 seconds in June 2007. However, in the kickboxing ring, Mo snapped a five-bout losing streak last month, taking a unanimous decision victory over Justice Smith (Pictures).

Also official is the middleweight tournament's reserve bout, pitting all-star judoka Dong Sik Yoon (Pictures) against kyokushin karate convert Andrews Nakahara (Pictures). Nakahara was submitted in his MMA debut in April against MMA icon Kazushi Sakuraba (Pictures), while Yoon made it past Shungo Oyama (Pictures) in the tournament's first round before being bested by Gegard Mousasi (Pictures) in June's quarterfinal.

The Sept. 23 middleweight grand prix finale will feature semifinals bouts featuring Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza taking on Zelg Galesic (Pictures), while Gegard Mousasi (Pictures) battles Melvin Manhoef (Pictures), with the two bout's winners meeting later that evening to crown Dream's middleweight champion.

In non-tournament action, Hideo Tokoro (Pictures) is scheduled to face Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto pupil Atsushi Yamamoto (Pictures).
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