Year-end Dream card: Sakuraba takes on two

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There’s the vale-tudo of old, modern MMA, and the sport the way it’s done in Japan, which is a whole different creature. To not let fight fans down as they usher in the new year, the promoters of Dream has decided to go all out for their next show. Besides Fedor Emelianenko facing highly touted local judoka Satoshi Ishii, there’s room on the card for the little-guy GP and even some worked fights.

The biggest surprise to arise on the card is Tim Sylvia, who will be doing a bout of pro-wrestling. Tim was set to take on the heavy-handed Brett Rogers, who allegedly had visa problems and could not make it to Japan. According to the website Heavy.com, Sylvia accepted a match under pro-wrestling rules against K-1 star Jerome LeBanner so as not to have to sit out the event.

“The Mainiac,” who has 37 fights on his MMA record and won six of his last seven encounters, will be making his choreographed-fighting debut. Under the same rules, Josh Barnett enters the ring against Hideki Suzuki, Peter Aerts faces Kazutuki Fujita, and Kazushi Sakuraba will “fight” both Shinichi Suzukawa and Atsushi Sawada at the same time, alongside sidekick for the endeavor Katsuyori Shibata.

The night of December 31 in the Saitama Super Arena also features Bibiano Fernandes (Carlson Gracie Canada) squaring off with Rodolfo Marques (Nova União) in one of the bantamweight GP semifinals. The winner goes on to face the victor of the Antonio Banuelos-Masakazu Imanari matchup on the same night.

Check out the card:

Dream “Genki Desu Ka”

Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan

December 31, 2011

Hiroyuki Takaya vs Takeshi Inoue

Antonio Banuelos vs Masakazu Imanari

Bibiano Fernandes vs Rodolfo Marques

Fedor Emilianenki vs Satoshi Ishii

Shinya Aoki vs Satoru Kitaoka

Tatsuya Kawajari vs Kazuyuki Miyata

Megumi Fujii vs Karla Benitez

Hayato Sakurai vs Ryo Chonan

Hideo Tokoro vs Yusup Saadulaev

Pro-Wrestling

Tim Sylvia vs Jerome Le Banner

Josh Barnett vs Hideki Suzuki

Peter Aerts vs Kazutuki Fujita

Kazushi Sakuraba e Katsuyori Shibata vs Shinichi Suzukawa e Atsushi Sawada

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