DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara has announced that Shinya Aoki will challenge Joachim Hansen for the DREAM lightweight title at DREAM 11 on October 6th.
Hansen originally won the title by defeating Aoki in the finale of last year’s lightweight tournament. The champion has not fought since. His lone scheduled bout, a New Year’s Eve rematch with Gesias Cavalcante, was cancelled at the last minute. The Norwegian fighter failed his pre-fight medicals and was rushed to the hospital for an undisclosed head injury.
Since losing to Hansen, Shinya Aoki has gone 4-1 with his lone defeat coming at welterweight against rival Hayato Sakurai. The stretch includes a submission victory over world ranked Eddie Alvarez and, most recently, a decision victory over Brazilian Jiu0jitsu world champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.
This title fight will mark the third meeting between Aoki and Hansen. Before meeting in the lightweight tournament final, the two faced off in 2006 at the PRIDE New Year’s Eve show. Aoki won the fight in dynamic fashion by latching on a gogoplata. At the time it was the only such move ever pulled off in MMA.
DREAM 11 will also feature the semifinals of both the featherweight and “Super Hulk” tournaments, as well as a middleweight title fight between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Jason “Mayhem” Miller.