DREAM 18: Recapping the Year End Event

| January 3, 2013 | 2:10 pm | Reply

Dream 18New Year’s eve, early in the morning in the United States, Dream 18 took place inside the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The night was shared with some kickboxing action from Glory 4 that included a 16-man tournament. The MMA action though included Japanese stars like Shinya Aoki, Hiroyuki Takaya, Michihiro Omigawa and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

If you missed any of the early morning MMA action that aired on CBS Sports and online PPV we’ve got the complete DREAM 18 year-end results and recap for you below.

Satoru Kitaoka vs. Will Brooks: A fight meant to be a showcase for Kitaoka turned out to be anything but, as Brooks proved far more game than anticipated. Working his bizarre catch style grappling game, Kitaoka was able to work leg locks, yet Brooks rolled free of his offense with the patience and ease of a veteran. With Kitaoka’s predictable attack pattern being etched in Brook’s playbook well in advance of this bout, the American was able to unleash punches and a massive belly to back suplex while avoiding danger.  A clearly deflated Kitaoka continued to hunt for leg locks into the second round, but a series of heel strikes to the face and inventive uppercuts put away the Japanese fighter.

Will Brooks wins via 2nd round TKO (ref stoppage)

Marloes Coenen vs. Fiona Muxlow: The former Strikeforce champion came into this fight as a ridiculous favorite, and showed she belongs on the elite stage with an easy win. With Muxlow being completely outclassed in the striking and eating a steady diet of punches and knees, she eventually found a single leg takedown, but was nowhere near a finish. Instead, Coenen put her through the wringer on the mat, finally hitting an armbar after several transitions.

Marloes Coenen wins via 1st round submission (armbar)

Hayato Sakurai vs. Phil Baroni: A fight of two old school battlers turned out to be a somewhat plodding affair, conducted primarily in the clinch and guard. While Baroni was the larger fighter, Sakurai controlled the majority of the match, picking his spots standing and working off of his back when he found himself on the receiving end of a takedown. With the match being fairly close through two rounds, Baroni’s gas gave out in the third and Sakurai pounced to put an exclamation point on the fight, taking a clear decision win.

Hayato Sakurai wins via Unanimous Decision

Dennis Kang vs. Melvin Manhoef: This was a short and sweet fight that ended in amazing fashion early in the round. Heavy hands from both parties flew in the opening seconds of the match, but a brutalizing knee to Kang’s stomach immediately dropped him to the canvas as the air was blasted from his lungs.

Melvin Manhoef wins via 1st Round KO (knee to body)

Yoshiro Maeda vs Bibiano Fernandes: Pure explosive technique clashed with warrior spirit as Fernandes faced Maeda, but spirit wasn’t enough to take a win. With Fernandes forcing a ground battle seconds into the fight, he was able to hustle Maeda on the mat, locking him into a perfectly sound triangle choke. While Maeda attempted to smash his way out, time wasn’t on his side as he went limp seconds later, giving Fernandes the win.

Bibiano Fernandes wins via 1st round Technical Submission (triangle choke)

Antonio McKee vs. Shinya Aoki: American wrestling faced submission grappling, as McKee came to fight on Aoki’s turf. Both men proved to be incredibly strong in their disciplines, as McKee hit several slams and stayed safe inside Aoki’s guard, while Aoki was able to stuff takedowns and proved to be superior in positioning in this fight. As the second round started though, a diving overhand right by Aoki went straight into McKee’s eye, causing him to tap out due to perhaps an eye injury or a broken orbital bone.

Shinya Aoki wins via 2nd Round Submission (strikes)

Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Hiroyuki Takaya: Wild action from both parties made this the best fight of the night, hands down, as Georgi Karakhanyan faced Hiroyuki Takaya. The first round saw Karakhanyan throwing his muay thai arsenal from all kinds of deceptive angles, dropping Takaya with the first punch of the fight and doing a number on his midsection with knees. Takaya began to find his rhythm in the second round, landing more shots including a flying knee by Karakhanyan turn into a stiff arm punch that dropped the fighter to the canvas. With the fight in the balance in the third round, Karakhanyan took it to the mat and worked a game of knees and punches in side control for the entire round. The fight went to a somewhat laughable split decision, but Karakhanyan was given the rightful nod as he took his first Dream win.

Georgi Karakhanyan wins via Split Decision

Michihiro Omigawa vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri: Two decorated Japanese grapplers went to war, although the fight played out to be more one-sided than expected as Kawajiri dominated Omigawa on the mat.  Round after round, The Crusher was able to hit his double leg and methodically work his way into superior positions with limited offense from Omigawa. With the second round ending with a near submission via Kawajiri’s famous arm triangle, the heat was on for Omigawa in the third. While Omigawa went for a guillotine and his judo straight armlock from bottom, he could never break Kawajiri’s momentum.

Tatsuya Kawajiri wins via Unanimous Decision

Dream 18 was the only event this year from the promotion and took place exactly one year from their last event.

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Category: MMA

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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