Hunt vs. Overeem Added to Dream 5
Ariel Shnerer / July 18, 2008 - 11:59am
Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem (27-11-0) has been confirmed as the opponent for Mark Hunt (5-3-0) at Dream 5 from Osaka, Japan this Monday. Overeem confirmed the heavyweight bout with The Fight Network on Friday.
Overeem, a veteran Dutch kickboxer, was victorious over Tae Hyun Lee (1-2-0) at Dream 4 in June. He holds notable wins over Vitor Belfort (16-8-0) and Paul Buentello (25-10-0), both of whom will be competing at Affliction: Banned this Saturday. The seasoned Pride Fighting Championships star looks to extend his winning streak to three in a row against another fighter who is no stranger to the defunct Japanese promotion.
While Hunt may only have eight fights under his belt, he holds wins over some of the most established names in the sport, including Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1) and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (23-6-2). Since then, however, Hunt has been on a two-fight losing streak, last suffering defeat at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko (27-1-0, 1 NC) and Josh Barnett (25-5-0), two top-five ranked heavyweight fighters. In his first appearance for the Dream promotion, Hunt looks to rebound when he takes on "Demolition Man" at Osaka Castle Hall.
One of the world's top pound-for-pound fighters, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (17-1-0, 1 NC) has been taken off the July 21 card. Yamamoto suffered a torn ACL in his training, which resulted in his fight with undefeated up-and-comer Joseph Benavidez (7-0-0) being scrapped. At a press conference earlier today, Yamamoto was in crutches as Dream promoter Keiichi Sasahara announced his removal from the show.
Dream 5 will be headlined by two Lightweight Grand Prix fights, featuring Shinya Aoki (16-2-0, 1 NC) and Tatsuya "Crusher" Kawajiri (22-4-2), two household names in Japan. Aoki will take on K-1 Hero's veteran Caol Uno (25-10-4), while Kawajiri clashes with heavy-handed Eddie Alvarez (14-1-0).
Aoki is undefeated in three fights since joining the Dream promotion, last submitting Katsuhiko Nagata (4-3-0) at Dream 4. Uno, his opponent on Monday, is coming off what is arguably the biggest win of his career, submitting Mitsuhiro Ishida via rear naked choke at Dream 3 in May.
Kawajiri, meanwhile, has won his last three fights via unanimous decision. He carries significant victories over current UFC lightweight Per Eklund (12-3-1) and Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett (22-15-2) into his fight against Alvarez. Trounced only once in 15 fights, Alvarez carries the momentum of a four-fight winning streak into the most important bout of his five-year career. His only loss occurred last year at Bodog Fight: Clash of the Nations against current EliteXC welterweight contender Nick Thompson (36-9-1).
Dream 5 takes place Monday, July 21, at Osaka Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan.
July 21, 2008
Osaka Castle Hall
Lightweight Grand Prix Finals (16-man tournament)
Shinya Aoki vs. Caol Uno
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Eddie Alvarez
Lightweight Grand Prix Reserve Bout
Joachim Hansen vs. Kultar Gill
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Motoki Miyazawa vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka
Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki
Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem