DREAM 7 - Predictions

Saturday 7 March 2009

I normally don't do this, but I am seeing that some fans think this is the weakest DREAM card yet. These things are always subjective, but I would wait until after the event to judge. The fact that you don't know the fighters doesn't make them bad... I see fighters on this card that I know nothing about, and that makes me more interested. FEG has seen them worthy of a spot, and I want to see if they can live up to that.

The real reason some fighters are lesser known is that few featherweights have, up until now, fought overseas. Also keep in mind that this GP is at 63.5kg, which might actually make it closer to a bantamweight GP (depending on what you are used to watching).

It is a long time since I have done this, but I will give you my predictions.

A word of warning: I suck at predicting fights, and you might do better going with the opposite picks of mine. I never put money on the fights and if you do, please base that on your own predicitions.

1. Feather GP: Takafumi Otsuka 8-3-1 vs. 3-2-0 Bibiano Fernandes
This match up looks awesome to me, Bibiano is famous for his jiu-jitsu and that is key here. Otsuka's base is wrestling, but he is a bred MMA fighter with few weaknesses.

Otsuka will try to keep this fight standing, but it will hit the ground at one point. Otsuka will try to make it later.

I think it will be an entertaining fight that will go the distance. If it does, I think its because Otsuka is successful and he gets the decision.

2. Feather GP: Chase Beebe 12-3-0 vs. Joe Warren
These are 2 fighters that I know virtually nothing about. Chase Beebe has the MMA experience, a veteran of WEC he lost his 2 last fights and will be looking to get back on the winning track.

Joe Warren, all I know is that he is a very good wrestler and has some solid training partners. Could he be another King Mo? We will have to wait and see, but he has everything to gain in this fight.

I would go for Chase Beebe, but its just because of his experience.

3. Feather GP: "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura 9-3-1 vs. 13-2-0 Abel Cullum
Abel Cullum is another of the fighters I am looking forward to seeing here. I have seen a few of his fights and his jiu-jitsu is very good. The key here will be his take downs though.

"Wicky" is a guy that fans of Japanese MMA will be very familiar with, even though he will make his debut on the big stage tomorrow. "Wicky" is one of the more exciting and unorthodox fighters out there, and unusually for Japanese fighters, this guy does not want to go to the ground.

Key for "Wicky" will be to get into the right rhythm, and I think he will enjoy the big stage. Cullum needs to make his take downs stick, he does not want to stand with "Wicky".

I see Abel Cullum being hit late in round 1, and will predict a TKO win for "Wicky". Remember: 10 minutes 1st rounds.

4. Light: Mitsuhiro Ishida 17-4-1 vs. 19-9-0 Daisuke Nakamura
This is an awesome match-up, and a chance for Daisuke Nakamura to climp into the top 10 lightweights.

Ishida is a fighter that in some ways seems to fly under the radar, a very quiet and unassuming guy, but in the ring he means business. He has only been submitted once in his career, that was to Caol Uno in the DREAM tournament last year. He quickly redeemed himself by a spectacular fashion in his US debut.

Nakamura has quietly built an 8 fight winning streak, his last loss being to Vitor Ribeiro. He is a well rounded fighter, and is often involved in very exciting fights.

Key for Ishida will be to get Nakamura to the ground and I think he has the wrestling to do that, but once there he needs to keep Nakamura on his back. That is where he can start his GnP. I think Ishida's wrestling and strength will be too much for Nakamura. Ishida will get the decision.

5. Welter: Shinya Aoki 19-3-0 vs. 16-10-0 David Gardner
We are getting into 2 fights that I wont go into too much details... Everyone knows Shinya Aoki and what he will be looking to do, I know nothing about David Gardner.

Aoki will win this one by submission, I hope it will be something exciting.

I know what you are thinking, whats with this match-up??? It is because Aoki is fighting in the welterweight GP next month. It is worth noting that this fight is at welterweight.

Before the next fight, there is a short break. Look for welterweight GP news here.

6. Light: Ross Ebanez 19-6-0 vs. 22-5-2 Tatsuya Kawajiri
I have very little knowledge of Ross Ebanez, but I do know a bit about Kawajiri.

I hope Kawajiri pulls it together here. He will get the win, I hope its not be decision.

7. Feather GP: Yoshiro Maeda 23-6-2 vs. 10-2-0 Micah Miller
This match-up is very hard to predict for me, it makes it a good one. But I also have not seen enough of Micah Miller to know what Maeda is up against.

Maeda I think is a bit unpredictable and it seems to be against taller and aggressive fighters. Miller is taller, I don't know if he is aggressive enough.

This fight has delayed this post for a few days now, gut feeling says Miller will take it.

8. Feather GP: Hiroyuki Takaya 9-6-1 vs. Kim Jong Won
Hiroyuki Takaya is a very experienced fighter, he is taking on a Korean Judoka in Kim Jong Won. Won is making his MMA debut, and Dong Sik Yoon has said he is very impressed by his striking. I don't think he should try to strike his way to a win here though.

Hiroyuki Takaya will take this if he comes in shape, I am worried about his weight cutting "skills" (stamina) especially in the later part of round 1. Takaya by decision.

9. Masakazu Imanari 15-6-1 vs. 12-5-1 Atsushi Yamamoto
If you dont know what to expect fromt the main event, you have not followed Japanese MMA closely (and there is nothing wrong with that). Imanari is famous for his leg-locks, Yamamoto will try to keep this fight standing for as long as it takes to wreck Imanari's face (see the Tokoro fight).

Imanari is not going to waste time on his feet, look for him to dive in and go for a leg. The whole world will know what to expect here.

I see this fight ending in the first few minutes, it could be by a Yamamoto KO/TKO. More likely is a Imanari submission though.


Anonymous,  7 March 2009 at 08:39  

Question: Atsushi Yamamoto, is he related to KID or not? I've heard some say it's his brother, other say its a cousin, others say there is no relation at all.

Borre 7 March 2009 at 09:56  

As far as I know, no relation at all.

Chris 7 March 2009 at 10:14  

No relation, but they attended the same school (Yamanashi Gakuin University) and were on the same wrestling team.

Chris 7 March 2009 at 10:15  

Great post btw! :)

Anonymous,  8 March 2009 at 03:03  

Thx for the info guys. just a few more hours to go... :D

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