On Monday, March 22, 2010 in Yokohama, Japan, while most North American fans will be sleeping, DREAM will be hosting their first event of the year at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. DREAM, which is the MMA promotion run by leading Japanese combat sport promoter FEG (whom also promotes K-1), has quickly turned into Japan's premier MMA organization since the demise of the once great PRIDE organization exactly 3 years ago. DREAM.13 will feature seven action-packed MMA fights and will air live in North America on HDNet, starting at midnight PST/3:00 a.m. EST.
The main event headlining DREAM.13 will be a featherweight title fight between current DREAM featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes and former DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen. The Brazilian champion Fernandes, who is one of the most accomplished Jiu-Jitsu practitioners actively competing in MMA is also a four-time world champion in jiu-jitsu (three-times as a black belt and once as a brown belt). He won the DREAM featherweight tile by winning the 2009 DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix last year. This involved winning four fights last year over the likes of Takafumi Otsuka and former Cage Rage and DEEP champion Masakazu Imanari in the first two rounds, as well as an armbar victory over American upstart Joe Warren and a Split Deicision win over WEC "Fight of the Night" winner Hiroyuki Takaya. His wins over Warren and Takaya occured in the same night in September 2009, which earned him the title of DREAM featherweight champion.
Fernandes is certainly no stranger to rop ranked MMA opposition either. After making his professional MMA debut in October 2004 and taking two years off from the sport, Fernandes would return to face arguably two of the most decorated featherweight fighters in the history of the sport. In his second and third bouts, he would lose to Urijah Feber and Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto respectively. However, since those losses, Fernandes has steppped on the accelerator and hasn't looked back, while stringing together six consecutive victories fighting in Canada and Japan. Now the Gracie Barra black belt is set to meet his stiffest test two and a half years and will look to secure his highest profile win, as he defends his belt against Norway's favorite fighting son Joachim Hansen.
Joachim Hansen often referred to as "Hellboy" by his fans due to his hellacious brand of MMA is one of the most decorated fighters of the PRIDE era, yet to make an appearance in one of America's premier MMA organizations. This battle-tested Hansen will be making his featherweight debut for the first time in a career that spans over 10 years. Since making his MMA debut in November 1999, Hansen has also proven to be an incredibly durable fighter, as he has never been stopped via KO or TKO in 28 career bouts. In August 2003, the Norwegian fighter really put a stamp on his career as one of the world's elite lightweight fighters, when he defeated Japanese stars Rumina Sato and Takanori Gomi with the win over Gomi earning him the Shooto welterweight title. This made him the first person from a Scandinavian country to hold an MMA world title.
Along with Sato and Gomi, Hansen's career has also seen him defeat American Top Team superstar Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, former Cage Rage and DEEP champion Masakazu Imanari, former UFC star Yves Edwards, and current DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. His win over Aoki came at DREAM.5, where he brutally KO'd the Japanese grappling senation in the final round of the 2008 DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix. The win over Aoki gave Hansen two more titles, the 2008 Dream Lightweight Grand Prix tournament champion, as well as the title of being the first ever DREAM lightweight champion. Now Hansen, will look to write another successful chapter to his storied fighting career by attempting to add Fernandes' DREAM featherweight title to his already sterling trophy case.
DREAM.13 Fight Card:
-Bibiano Fernandes vs. Joachim Hansen (Featherweight Title Bout)
-Katsunori Kikuno vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (Lightweight Bout)
-K.J. Noons vs. Andre Amade (Catchweight 72 kg Bout)
-Ryo Chonan vs. Andrews Nakahara (Welterweight Bout)
-Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Jimmy Ambriz (Openweight Bout)
-Cole Escovedo vs. Yoshiro Maeda (Featherweight Bout)
-Josh Barnett vs. Siala "Mighty Mo" Siligia (Heavyweight Bout)