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K-1 & DSE/PRIDE staff join to create DREAM

By Zach Arnold | February 13, 2008

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A big press conference was held today in Tokyo at the Metropolitan Edmont hotel with 500 fans in attendance to announce a new promotion called DREAM. Mirko Cro Cop was in attendance and was quoted by the Japanese press as saying that “cage fighting doesn’t suit me” and that Japan is really his second home. Mirko will debut for the promotion on 3/15 at Saitama Super Arena for DREAM 1. Essentially put, a lot of the booking will be similar to the days of PRIDE with themes, matches, and so forth.

The DREAM event schedule:

  1. DREAM 1 (3/15 Saitama Super Arena) – Lightweight GP 2008 tournament
  2. DREAM 2 (4/29 Saitama Super Arena) – Middleweight GP 2008 tournament
  3. DREAM 3 (5/11 Saitama Super Arena) – Lightweight GP 2008 tournament 2nd round
  4. DREAM 4 (June in South Korea or Yokohama Arena) – Middleweight GP 2008 tournament 2nd round
  5. DREAM 5 (7/21 Osaka Castle Hall) – Lightweight GP 2008 tournament finals
  6. DREAM 6 (September at Saitama Super Arena) – Middleweight GP 2008 tournament finals

List of competitors for the Lightweight tournament.

Topics: Japan, K-1, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Zach Arnold | 35 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

35 Responses to “K-1 & DSE/PRIDE staff join to create DREAM”

  1. garth says:

    isn’t Cro Cop still under contract with the UFC? Did he opt out or something? This is pretty big if he says he’ll debut for them…

  2. The Gaijin says:

    Since I made this mistake too – I’ll help you on this one garth.

    See the left sidebar of the website for many relevant links to your question.

    Mirko refused to renegotiate a lower per fight deal (I’ve seen by as much as half – nothing more than rumour mind you) and he was “let go” by the UFC.

  3. IceMuncher says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing how Dreams does. The list of LW participants shows more promise than the any of the other new promotions.

    Looking at the website, I can’t help but notice that they’re going by the UFC weightclasses, rather than the Pride ones.

    LW- 154
    WW- 167
    MW- 185
    LHW- 205
    HW- 205+

  4. Samscaff says:

    Anyone know if they said anything about the rules? Pride rules? Heros rules? Modified American rules?

  5. Ultimo_Santa says:

    With Tito Ortiz leaving UFC (most likely), Tim Sylvia, Andre Arlovski, Randy Couture being a free agent if/when his lawsuit wraps up…it looks like DREAM has a chance to stack it’s roster.

    PLEASE use Pride rules! I can’t stand missing out on soccer kicks and stomps in UFC, while the elbow strikes on the ground negatively affect so many outcomes.

  6. ilostmydog says:

    Elbows negatively affect so many outcomes? If you could list more than five in 2007 I’d be surprised.

    Anyways, I found it surprising that Shaolin wasn’t immediately announced for their LW GP. And they need to substitute Kultar Gill for Azeredo. Kultar actually has power in his hands. Should be a fun fun GP though. *fingers crossed for no Tokoro involvement*

  7. ilostmydog says:

    Another thing, if you watch the presser, when they introduce the fighters they have Yoshihiro ‘Satan’ Akiyama. New nickname or do they reaaaally just not like him?

  8. The Gaijin says:

    ^ “…Devil’s horns and ring of fire are effects added by the network station…” [disclaimer on the bottom-screen ticker]

  9. PizzaChef says:

    ilostmydog: where is the presser? Got a link to where they introduced Akiyama as Satan?

  10. Ivan Trembow says:

    As I’ve been saying, the deal with Cro Cop and Zuffa is that Cro Cop wouldn’t agree to Zuffa’s insistence that he take a pay cut — below the amount gauranteed in his contract — and Zuffa subsequently decided that they’d rather release him than pay him that much anymore.

  11. Dru Down says:

    Wow. All I can say is “Pride never die.”

  12. PizzaChef says:

    From Cindy Ortiz on the UG

    From: CindyO
    Date: 02/13/08 06:02 AM
    Member Since: 02/10/2006
    4234 Total Posts Ignore User

    I just talked to DW and this is what he had to say:
    The split was amicable and the terms were decided on in advance. Cro Cops $350k (plus bonuses) contract had a clause in it stating that if he lost two consecutive fights Zuffa had the right to void the existing agreement and negotiate a new one.

    CC never dreamed that he would be so overwhelmed by the level of competition he has faced in the UFC so far and and the losses have impacted him mentally.

    The UFC did NOT cut Cro Cop from the roster nor did they threaten to make him sit out until his contract expired if he didn’t take the pay cut deal.

    Rather than negotiate a new contract with the UFC right now (and risk racking up more losses), Cro Cop wants to get a couple of tune up fights (and wins) in some of the smaller shows (no more tune up matches for him in the UFC) in hopes of rebuilding his confidence and getting himself back on track.

    DW understood completely and supported Cro Cop in his decision. The last thing DW wants to do is shell out a six-figure purse to a fighter that isn’t fighting worth a dayum. Even though it would have been lower than the original figure, it would still be a waste of money and resources.

    Cro Cops ultimate goal is to win the UFC HW championship belt and DW believes he still has the potential to accomplish that goal. CC’s plan when he signed with the UFC was, “I will become Champion after three matches. I will need two and a half or three months off between each match. I expect to hold the UFC belt by the Summer. Then I want Pride Champion Fedor Emelianenko, Vs Me the UFC Heavyweight Champion on New Years Eve.”

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    Well, I guess that settles it then! That must be what happened!

  14. PizzaChef says:

    I forgot to mention that you can take that with a grain of salt of course. 😛

  15. karat3 says:


    about 9minutes into the first part a promo video starts playing. It’s in that one they call akiyama “satan”.

    I was pretty shocked when I saw it myself 😉

  16. Jonathan says:

    I am very excited about this, and as I have always said, Pride never dies.

    I wonder where this leaves World Victory Road?

  17. ilostmydog says:

    They need to a Satan vs. Jesus megafight. Make it happen FEG/zombie DSE/DREAMS!

  18. Grape Knee High says:

    So did they clarify whether this will be a sister promotion to HERO’s or will DREAM be taking its place entirely?

    I’m hoping WVR somehow gets folded into DREAM.

    Re: Elbows
    I’m personally on the side of no elbows. They encourage fighters to stay in guard and attempt to cut foreheads. Yawn. Like we really need to see boring bloodbaths.

    Knees to the head would be nice, but I’m a bit ambivalent these days about soccer kicks. They just don’t seem very sporting.

  19. Zack says:

    That Cindy O piece is such a sad spin job.

  20. ilostmydog says:

    DREAMS is taking over HERO’S. HERO’S is gone. Maeda is fired.

  21. Grape Knee High says:

    Thanks, ilostmydog.

    For Zach or whoever, another question:

    So if DREAM has former DSE staff and WVR also has former DSE staff, is there any overlap among these groups of former DSE staff or are they two separate and distinct groups of former DSE staff?

  22. ilostmydog says:

    WVR doesn’t have former DSE staff IIRC.

  23. ilostmydog says:

    Actually, cancel that, I believe the only ex-DSEers were going to from the production crew (so crazy screaming Pride lady, ring announcer guy, and the video team) that worked for DSE, but the DREAMS presser seemed to say that they weren’t going to allow that to happen.

  24. Andrej says:

    It’s sad that K-1 Dreams and World Victory Road are different organizations and have signed ex pride fighters that should fight under one organization in my opinion.

    I’m looking forward to both promotion’s and hopefully they have a better product than EliteXC!

  25. fightdoctor says:

    Somehow, I doubt we’re going to see PRIDE rules. Without those rules, this is just the new HEROS not the new PRIDE. Still great, but not the dream I had in mind.

  26. IceMuncher says:

    “I’m personally on the side of no elbows. They encourage fighters to stay in guard and attempt to cut foreheads. Yawn. Like we really need to see boring bloodbaths.”

    I’m personally on the side for elbows. The lack of them encourages fighters on the bottom to keep the opponent in their guard as long as possible until the guy on top (hopefully) makes a mistake. Yawn. Like we really need to see some more hand holding in a closed guard.

    The fact of the matter is, the UFC rules create more action and lead to more finishes.

    Pride stats: 600
    Percentage Decision = 31.50

    UFC stats: 885 matches
    Percentage Decision = 26.89

  27. fightdoctor says:

    Those ufc stats probably include pre NJAC fights, and are thus skewed.

    I’d love to see only the Zuffa era stats. I bet they’re much different.

    Zuffa Brand UFC:

    609 matches
    Percent Decision = 30.7

    And what’s more important to note is that a decision doesn’t necessarily equal a boring fight.

  28. white ninja says:

    2 words

    NO TV

  29. Chuck says:

    I’m calling it now. Antonio Inoki is going to be a sad panda now that MMA is making a mainstream comeback in Japan, and he will bring back Inoki BOM-BA-YE and have Yuji Nagata get knocked out in thirty seconds to a top level fighter. I dare anyone to say I am wrong!

  30. Cacti45 says:

    Is Akiyama not the best dressed man in MMA? The guys such a pimp.

  31. liger05 says:

    josh barnett gonna get a new home now?

  32. Gary Oldman says:

    I really missed the atmosphere of an opening ceremony and pre fight videos. Just the high quality of production this well bring has me excited.

  33. Rictor says:

    Zach, what are your feelings about this merger?


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