By Junior Samurai
Former Shooto champion Willamy Chiquerim will see action tomorrow at Dream 17, where he will face Japan’s Satoru Kitaoka. A well-known entity in the Land of the Rising Sun, Chiquerim is stoked about his return to Japanese soil. “Fighting in Japan against is like going home. It’s such a pleasant feeling; the Japanese have so much respect for the athletes. It’s very satisfying to be well treated, welcomed; being back there is really important to me,” he said.
At 24 years of age, the Nova União representative will have his work cut out for him against the Sengoku champ who even boasts wins over Takanori Gomi, Paul Daley and Kurt Pellegrino. “I’m going to lure him into my game. They say he’s a born finisher but I’ve done a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling. I respect him a great deal, but I’ll give me all to leave as the winner.”
Some other Brazilians with Jiu-Jitsu backgrounds will also feature in the ring at the Saitama Super Arena, something of an MMA temple, having been the main venue during the days of Pride FC. The undefeated Yan Cabral will face off with legend Kazushi Sakuraba in one of the superfights. Now the bantamweight GP quarterfinals will see Bibiano Fernandes taking on Takafumi Otsaka, while Rodolfo Marques squares off with Yusup Saadulaev. Some other big names in the mix are Caol Uno, Shinya Aoki, Rob McCullough, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gerald Harris and Kazuhiro Nakamura.