Dream (mixed martial arts)
|Industry||Mixed martial arts promotion|
|Founded||February 13, 2008|
|Founder||Sadaharu Tanikawa (President of FEG)|
|Defunct||June 3, 2012; revived: October 25, 2012|
|Keiichi Sasahara, Head and Matchmaker |
Daisuke Sato, Productions Director
|Parent||Real Entertainment Co. Ltd.|
Dream (styled DREAM in capitals) was a Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) organization promoted by former PRIDE FC executives and K-1 promoter Fighting and Entertainment Group. Dream replaced FEG's previous-run mixed martial arts fight series, Hero's. The series retained many of the stylistic flourishes and personnel from Pride FC broadcasts, including fight introducer Lenne Hardt. In America, the promotion was aired on HDNet. They promoted over 20 shows highlighting some of the best Japanese and international MMA talent, establishing or enhancing the careers of top ranked fighters such as Shinya Aoki, Gesias Cavalcante, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Ronaldo Jacaré, Eddie Alvarez, Jason Miller, Kazushi Sakuraba, Gegard Mousasi and Alistair Overeem.
Pride FC's buyout and Yarennoka!
After the Zuffa buyout of Pride FC, the former Dream Stage Entertainment executives put on a collaborative New Year's Eve mixed martial arts show with Shooto, M-1 Global, and the Fighting and Entertainment Group, called Yarennoka!. This show was intended to be a farewell show of Pride FC. However, due to its success and further petitioning by Japanese MMA fans, the FEG and the former DSE staff decided to combine their efforts and form a new Japanese promotion.
Hero's dissolution and Dream's emergence
Their new promotion was confirmed on February 13, 2008, along with Hero's dissolution. All of Hero's' fighters were confirmed (such as Hero's champions Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Yoshihiro Akiyama and JZ Calvan) to be part of the new promotion along with the additions of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, Shinya Aoki, Kazushi Sakuraba, Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. Another notable announcement was Dream's partnership with M-1 Global, who confirmed that they would allow the last Heavyweight Champion of Pride FC (and the winner of the 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix), Fedor Emelianenko, to fight in their events. Emelianenko was present at the Dream press conference to promote the alliance between the two shows.
Partnership with HDNet
On May 2, 2008, Dream aired for the first time in the United States with a repeat of Dream 1 on HDNet. A repeat of Dream 2 was aired the following day, while Dream 3 was aired live on May 11. All future Dream events will be airing on HDNet as a part of the network's HDNet Fights series.
Partnership with EliteXC
On May 10, 2008, Dream announced the working partnership with US promotion EliteXC. The two groups intended to share fighters and eventually co-promote shows. However, with EliteXC went bankrupt before the alliance could materialize.
Alliance with Strikeforce
On August 5, 2009, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the two promotions had signed a formal alliance. This is reportedly a deal that has been talked about for quite some time, but has finally come to fruition. The result of this deal is that the two organizations will exchange fighters and work together to bring MMA fans the best fights possible. Also, because of Strikeforce's recent agreement with Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global, it is presumable that they would be involved in the alliance as well. In October 2009, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated interest in unifying the titles between the two promotions. However Dream has yet to give a public response. It's likely all unification plans have been dropped due to Zuffa, the parent company of UFC, acquiring Strikeforce.
Alliance with ONE Fighting Championship
November 23, 2011 sources close to ONE Fighting Championship announced a new alliance with Dream to copromote shows and participate in fighter exchange.
Partnership with ProElite
Cease of business operations
On May 16, 2012, Sadaharu Tanikawa officially declared the bankruptcy of FEG. The promotion began to be managed by its proper parental company Real Entertainment Co. Ltd. and as of June 3, 2012, Dream has effectively gone out of business.
A revival show dubbed "Dream.18: Special NYE 2012" was set for December 31, 2012 under the financial backing of kickboxing promotion Glory Sports International. The event promoted mixed martial arts and kickboxing bouts at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, carrying on the tradition of fight events every New Year's Eve for at least one more year.
Dream had 7 weight classes. Unlike Hero's, each weight class had a champion with a defendable title.
- Bantamweight – 60 kilograms (132 lb)
- Featherweight – 65 kilograms (143 lb)
- Lightweight – 70 kilograms (154 lb)
- Welterweight – 75 kilograms (165 lb)
- Middleweight – 85 kilograms (187 lb)
- Light Heavyweight – 95 kilograms (209 lb)
- Heavyweight – no upper limit
It was announced that in 2011 Dream will create a new Bantamweight class at 61 kg (134 lb), and the Featherweight class will be raised to 65 kg (143 lb).
- There were three 5-minute rounds.
- Fights were to be judged in their entirety by three judges, not on a round-by-round ten-point-must basis (more common to North American promotions).
- A winner was always to be declared, as draws were not possible.
Dream allowed fighters latitude in their choice of attire, but open finger gloves, a mouthguard and a protective cup were mandatory. Fighters were allowed to use tape on parts of their body or to wear a gi top, gi pants, wrestling shoes, kneepads, elbow pads, or ankle supports at their own discretion, though each had to be checked by the referee before the fight.
Fouls and violations
- Stomps and soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent were not allowed (unless both fighters were on the ground), but they were allowed to the rest of the body.
- Elbows to the head were prohibited.
- If there was a 15 kilograms (33 lb) or more weight difference between the fighters, knees to the head of a grounded opponent were not allowed.
- A grounded opponent was defined as one in a three-point position. If a fighter had, for example, both knees and one hand on the floor facing the mat, then no kicks to the head were allowed.
- Strikes to the back of the head were not allowed
- In case of a "no contest" or injury, the fighter able to continue would go through to the next round; if neither fighter was able to continue, the promoter would choose a replacement fighter to go through.
|Division||Upper weight limit||Champion||Since||Title Defenses|
|Heavyweight||120 kg (264.6 lb)||Alistair Overeem||December 31, 2010 (Dynamite!! 2010)|
|Light Heavyweight||95 kg (209.4 lb)||Gegard Mousasi||September 25, 2010 (Dream 16)||1|
|Middleweight||85 kg (187.4 lb)||Gegard Mousasi||September 23, 2008 (Dream 6)|
|Welterweight||75 kg (165.3 lb)||Marius Zaromskis||July 20, 2009 (Dream 10)||1|
|Lightweight||70 kg (154.3 lb)||Shinya Aoki||October 6, 2009 (Dream 11)||2|
|Featherweight||65 kg (143.3 lb)||Hiroyuki Takaya||December 31, 2010 (Dynamite!! 2010)||2|
|Bantamweight||60 kg (132.3 lb)||Bibiano Fernandes||December 31, 2011 (Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoko 2011)||0|
|2008||Lightweight||Joachim Hansen||Shinya Aoki|
|2008||Middleweight||Gegard Mousasi||Ronaldo Souza|
|2009||Welterweight||Marius Zaromskis||Jason High|
|2009||Featherweight||Bibiano Fernandes||Hiroyuki Takaya|
|2009||Superhulk (openweight)||Ikuhisa Minowa||Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou|
|2010||Light Heavyweight||Gegard Mousasi||Tatsuya Mizuno|
|2011||JP Bantamweight||Hideo Tokoro||Masakazu Imanari|
|2011||Bantamweight||Bibiano Fernandes||Antonio Banuelos|
- Total event number: 24
These cities have hosted the following numbers of Dream events as of Dream 18:
- Japan (24)
- "K-1's new Dream includes Cro Cop". Mma Weekly. February 13, 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- Loiseleur, Tony (February 13, 2008). "'Dream' Come True?". Sherdog.com. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Mark Cuban's HDNET to air Japan's Dream". Mma Weekly. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "PRO ELITE & Dream ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP". MMAWeekly. 2008. Archived from the original on May 27, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
- "Strikeforce and Dream Formalizing "Alliance"". MMAWeekly. 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Dream, One FC Announce Deal to Co-Promote Events, Exchange Talent". mmafighting.com. November 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "ProElite to Partner With Dream". mmafighting.com. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- FEG's bankruptcy, May 17, 2012, Muay Thai TV
- "The Dream is Gone; Japanese MMA Promotion Runs Out of Viable Options". mmaweekly.com. June 3, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- Gross, Josh (October 25, 2012). "GSI fight card set for Dec. 31 in Japan". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- Loiseleur, Tony (2011-04-20). "'Dream: Fight For Japan' Bantamweight Tournament Bracket Set". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- "新格闘技イベント「Dream」誕生！ミルコの参戦も決定3.15さいたまで旗揚げ、総勢23選手が会見に出席". Sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp. 2008-02-14. Archived from the original on February 17, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "'GLORY teams up with Dream to stage 'Dream 18 - Special NYE 2012'". GLORYWorldSeries.com. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
- Tony Loiseleur. "Aoki Subs Hansen; Fernandes Wins Dream GP".
- Dream Run: Zaromskis Wins Grand Prix
- DiPietro, Monty (March 8, 2009). "HELLO JAPAN! SHINYA AOKI WINS AT Dream 7". MMAWeekly.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2009.