Will Brooks basically dominated Satoru Kitaoka to start the evening.
Kitaoka tried to take the fight to the ground, and insisted on leg locks but Brooks executed his game plan. Brooks defended all of Kitaoka's takedown attempts and landed many punches. A 26-year old from Illinois finished the business in the second round. Brooks landed a high kick, then slammed Kitaoka to the canvas. Kitaoka tried for an armbar from the bottom but Brooks stayed walked away, insisted on a stand war. Kitaoka threw a big left hook but just sliced the air and Brooks landed counter-right. Kitaoka went for leg lock again but Brooks stayed calm and dropped many fists to the head. Kitaoka turned around, Brooks chased with more punches it was all over.
Melvin Manhoef, once again, executed what everyone expect him to do, which was to deliver a vicious KO finish. And that is what he did against Denis Kang. Manhoef only needed 50 seconds, knee shot to the head, and couple of ground and pound to finish the business on this day.
Bibiano Fernandes also had easy time finishing WEC vet Yoshiro Maeda.
Fernandes took Maeda down then went for a rear naked choke. Maeda spun around into Fernandez's full guard. Brazilian quickly snapped on a triangle choke. Maeda picked him up and slammed onto the canvass, tried to get out, but it only made a situation worst. Fernandes calmly tightened the choke, then soon after, Maeda passed out.
Antonio McKee did fair against Shinya Aoki in the first round. He was able to defend Aoki's takedown attempt and executed a judo throw. On the ground, Aoki got the top position but McKee used his power get out, then lift up a Japanese star for a slam. When Aoki tried to snap on an armbar from the bottom, McKee was able to react quick and got out with no problem. At the end of the round, McKee had his back on the corner but once again, he was able to throw Aoki to the mat.
However, in the second round, the fight came to an abrupt ending. When Aoki landed a right hook to McKee's left eye then clinched, McKee turned round and signaled to the referee to stop the fight.
WEC vet Hiroyuki Takaya and Bellator vet Georgi Karakhanyan engaged in a relatively close battle but Karakhyanyan was way more aggressive in second and third round. Especially, the second round was all Karakhyanyan. Landed right high kick, left and right hooks, then pushed Takaya to the corner and landed series of knee shots to the body. Perhaps this round made a difference in judges' scorecards. Karakhyanyan won this fight via majority decision improved his record to a very impressive 20-3-1.
In the headliner of DREAM portion of this NYE show, Tatsuya Kawajiri proved he maybe the best featherweight fighter in Japan. Kawajiri pushed the pace from the beginning. Landed left low kicks, threw left high kick, then scored a take down. Michihiro Omigawa did defend well by putting Kawajiri in his full guard but took many shots to the head in the process.
Second round and third round were pretty much the same as the first round. Kawajiri scored a take down. Controlled the ground, and landed many punches to the head. For almost entire three round all Omigawa did was defending on the bottom.
Needless to say, all three judges gave to Kawajiri.
Monday, December 31st, 2012
At Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Doors Open – 15:00 / Fight Starts – 16:00
The Main Event – Featherweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Tatsuya Kawajiri (Japan / T-BLOOD) vs Michihiro Omigawa (Japan / Yoshida Dojo)
Winner: 3R Tatsuya Kawajiri by Decision (3-0)
7th Match – DREAM Featherweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Hiroyuki Takaya (Japan / Takaya Gundan) vs Georgi Karakhanyan (USA / Millenium MMA)
Winner: 3R Georgi Karakhanyan by Decision (1-2)
6th Match – DREAM Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Shinya Aoki (Japan / Paraestra Tokyo) vs Antonio McKee (USA / Body Shop Fitness Team)
Winner: 2R 0'24" Shinya Aoki by Submission (verbal tapout – right hook)
5th Match – DREAM Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Bibiano Fernandes (Brazil / Fight Team Bibiano) vs Yoshiro Maeda (Japan / Pancrase Inagaki-gumi)
Winner: 1R 1'46" Bibiano Fernandez by Submission (triangle choke)
4th Match – DREAM Middleweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Melvin Manhoef (Holland / Showtime – Mike's Gym) vs Denis Kang (Canada / American Top Team)
Winner: 1R 0'50" Melvin Manhoef by KO
3rd Match – DREAM Welterweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (Japan / Mach Dojo) vs Phil Baroni (USA / AKA)
Winner: 3R Hayato "Mach" Sakurai by Decision (3-0)
2nd Match – DREAM Womens' Bout 5 min / 2R
Marloes Coenen (Holland / Golden Glory) vs Fiona Muxlow (Australia / CALE CROSBY MMA)
Winner: 1R 3'29" Marloes Coenen by Submission (armbar)
1st Match – DREAM Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Satoru Kitaoka (Japan / Lotus) vs Will Brooks (USA / MIDWEST TRAINING CENTER)
Winner: 2R 3'46" Will Brooks by TKO
Report by Shu Hirata