Dream brought a lot of controversy and a major upset to the table as Dream 9 took place early this morning for those of us in North America. Jose Canseco’s MMA debut went as planned with him getting TKO’d early and getting injured. The main event Middleweight title fight ended in a disappointing no contest.
However, the Featherweight tournament lead to what has to be the biggest upset of 2009 so far as “Kid” Yamamoto couldn’t even win his first match. I felt a big upset coming on this card but unfortunately I just didn’t pick it. Let’s recap the fights and see how my predictions went:
Jason Miller v. Ronaldo Souza: Their title match ended in a no contest after Miller accidentally kicked Souza in the head resulting in a cut that caused the doctors to stop the fight. There is no word as to if or when a rematch will be scheduled.
Tatsuya Kawajiri v. Gesias Calvancante: Kawajiri wins by unanimous decision. I picked this one right on the nose.
Norifumi Yamamoto v. Joe Warren: Warren was supposed to be “Kid’s” sacrificial lamb with only one MMA fight under his belt. However, he came out and earned a split decision victory giving MMA the biggest upset of 2009 so far. Yamamoto, once thought to be the best at 145, probably looked past Warren and got caught sleeping here.
It will be interesting to see how Warren does now that he won’t sneak up on anyone. It will also be interesting to see how Yamamoto responds to this loss, his first since 2002 and only his second overall. I got this fight way wrong.
Masakazu Imanari v. Bibiano Fernandes: Well I correctly called that the fight would go to a decision unfortunately Fernandes won. I got this fight wrong too. The young upstart moves on to the second round.
Yoshiro Maeda v. Hiroyuki Takaya: I also correctly called the end of this fight with a TKO in the first round but again I just picked the wrong fighter. Takaya took out Maeda to send my record even lower.
Abel Cullum v. Hideo Tokoro: I was way off on this fight as Tokoro wins by submission (rear naked choke) in the second round. I didn’t pick one fight correctly in the featherweight tournament… ouch!
Gegard Mousasi v. Mark Hunt: Mousasi earns a quick submission (Kimura) victory in the first round. I got the pick right but not the prediction.
Jan Nortje v. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou: Sokoudjou wins by TKO in the first round. I picked this one right on the button. Hopefully this win gets the ball rolling again for Sokoudjou.
Hong Man Choi v. Jose Canseco: Choi wins by submission (strikes) in the first round. I refused to pick this fight but it went exactly as I expected. This better be the last time I ever have to mention Jose Canseco’s name in an article of mine ever again.
Bob Sapp v. Ikuhisa Minowa: Minowa won easily by submission (achilles lock) in the first round. I got the pick right and was close on the prediction (submission in the second round) but no cigar.
All in all I’m sure this show brought a ton of ratings to Dream and it seemed as though there was a good mix of exciting finishes and compelling fights. Unfortunately events like this bring so much bad press that it can overshadow the good fighters/fights on the card. Hopefully Dream can focus on more serious cards in the future.
Overall I had an average night going 4-4 plus two bonus points. Until next time,
Soccer kicks and head stomps...