DREAM Moves to Three 5-Minute Rounds; Uno vs. 'Lion' Inoue Booked for DREAM.17
DREAM, Japan's leading promotion is finally ready to return in full force as on Wednesday, event producer Keiichi Sasahara officially announced DREAM.17 for Sept. 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan.
The event, which is expected to feature the opening round of DREAM's Bantamweight World GP, has only one fight at this stage. Two generations of Shooto champions will clash with Caol Uno and "Lion" Takeshi Inoue meeting in a featherweight attraction.
Sasahara also announced a rule change for DREAM, bringing the promotion slightly closer to the unified rules of mixed martial arts.
DREAM will be moving to the unified rules round structure of three 5-minute rounds for non-title fights and five 5-minute rounds for title fights. Until now, aside from the Sengoku vs. DREAM matches at Dynamite 2010, DREAM has employed the PRIDE Bushido round structure of one 10-minute round followed by one 5-minute round for non-title fights and one 10-minute round followed by two 5-minute rounds for title bouts.
Caol Uno, a former Shooto welterweight (154 lbs) champion and two-time UFC title contender, will come into the bout on the heels of his impressive victory over slugger "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura. The decision over Nishiura in May marked Uno's first victory since May 2008.
"Lion" Takeshi Inoue, a former two-time Shooto lightweight (143 lbs) champion, employed his impressive counter-striking to pick up his first DREAM win on May 29, 2011 against DEEP ace Koichiro Matsumoto.
Although not officially announced, Sasahara also hinted that Satoru Kitaoka, former Pancrase and Sengoku champion, will also be making his promotional debut at DREAM.17.
DREAM.17 will be the first numbered event of the year for DREAM and will take place almost exactly one year after DREAM.16, which was held on Sept. 25, 2010 in Nagoya. Due to financial difficulties and the March 11 Japan earthquake, DREAM has only managed two down-scaled "Fight for Japan" events in 2011 until now.