By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Shinya Aoki Makes Quick Work Of Tatsuya Kawajiri
Shinya Aoki scored an impressive first round submission victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri in the main event of the DREAM 15 show that was held earlier today in Saitama, Japan. Aoki picked up the win via achillies lock at 1:53 of the first round, successfully defending his DREAM lightweight title. The victory is a great one to put on Aoki's record, as it will help him work his way back up the worldwide MMA lightweight rankings after he dropped a few spots from the Gilbert Melendez loss in his last fight back in April.
Kawajiri on the other hand suffered more than just hurt pride in his loss to Aoki earlier today. While he kind of got lost in the shuffle in the excitement of how impressive Aoki was in victory, and the spotlight didn't get any closer to him as Aoki announced his engagement to his girlfriend during his post-fight interview, Kawajiri was busy himself. He had to be carried out of the ring to the back, as he didn't have enough strength in his leg to support his body weight. The extent of Kawajiri's injuries are currently unknown, but he certainly seemed to be suffering from the decision not to tap at a number of different points where his leg was only taking more and more punishment. The loss to Aoki breaks a four fight winning streak for Kawajiri, as well as a five-year run without being submitted.
Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals Are Set
In other action, Gegard Mousasi advanced to the second round of the grand prix that was started to determine a new DREAM light heavyweight champion. Mousasi needed only 31 seconds to get past an overweight Jake O'Brien. Mousasi secured a guillotine choke off the first (and last) O'Brien takedown attempt of the fight. A few seconds of tightening and O'Brien was tapping out.
The other grand prix opening round bout didn't quite go exactly as many had expected. It was Tatsuya Mizuno who advanced to fill the slot opposite Mousasi in a few months in a fight that will determine the new DREAM light heavyweight champion. Mizuno shocked the fans in Saitama by tapping out Melvin Manhoef with a kimura at just under eight minutes of the first round.
Gesias Cavalcante Gets Back On The Winning Track
In the DREAM 15 semi-main event Gesias Cavalcante defeated Katsunori Kikuno in a hard-fought split decision after 15 minutes of all-around MMA action. It certainly wasn't the best Cavalcante we've seen in recent memory, but it was a win regardless. Cavalcante is now back on the winning track after dropping consecutive fights to Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri, before taking nearly a year off until his return tonight.
The rest of the DREAM 15 undercard action went as follows:
-Michihiro Omigawa def. Young Sam Jung via Submission (guillotine choke) at 7:31 of Round 1.
-Mitsuhiro Ishida def. Daiki Hata via Unanimous Decision after 2 Rounds.
-Kazuhiro Nakamura def. Karl Amoussou via Unanimous Decision after 2 Rounds.