The opening round of the DREAM featherweight grand prix kicked off early Sunday with six of the tournament’s first round matchups, as well as three non-tournament bouts, on the DREAM.7 card at the sold out Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The evening’s main event saw the always eccentric Masakazu Imanari facing Pancrase and Shooto veteran Atsushi Yamamoto in a first round tournament matchup. Imanari earned a close split-decision win over Yamamoto.
In other Tournament action: Bibiano Fernandes defeated Takafumi Otsuka via unanimous decision. Hiroyuki Takaya defeated Korean prospect Jong Won Kim by TKO. In a clash of former WEC fighters, Yoshiro Maeda defeated Micah Miller via unanimous decision and King of the Cage veteran Abel Cullum also defeated Akiyo Nishiura via unanimous decision. In what was the tournament’s first upset, wrestling champion Joe Warren shocked Japan in his MMA Debut by beating Tough WEC Veteren Chase Beebe by TKO.
In non tournament action: Top ranked lightweight Shinya Aoki defeated David Gardner by submission. Talented Japanese grappler Mitsuhiro Ishida defeated fellow Japanese fighter Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision and Tatsuya Kawajiri defeated Ross Ebanez by submission.
Below are the Official Results for Dream. 7:
Featherweight Grand Prix Opening Round Bouts:
Masakazu Imanari defeated Atsushi Yamamoto via split decision
Hiroyuki Takaya defeated Jong Won Kim by TKO (0:40-R2)
Yoshiro Maeda defeated Micah Miller via unanimous decision
Abel Cullum defeated Akiyo Nishiura via unanimous decision
Joe Warren defeated Chase Beebe by TKO (Doctor stoppage) (10:00-R1)
Bibiano Fernandes defeated Takafumi Otsuka via unanimous decision
Shinya Aoki defeated David Gardner by rear naked choke (5:58-R1)
Tatsuya Kawijiri defeated Ross Ebanez by rear naked choke (4:03-R1)
Mitsuhiro Ishida defeated Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision