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DREAM 9 (5/26 Yokohama Arena): Kid Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren

By Zach Arnold | May 24, 2009

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Event results here.

Update (5/24): Match order for DREAM 5/26 Yokohama Arena event:

    Super Hulk Tournament

  1. Bob Sapp vs. Minowaman
  2. Jose Canseco vs. Choi Hong-Man
  3. Jan “The Giant” Nortje vs. Sokoudjou
  4. Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt
  5. Lightweights: J.Z. Calvan vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
  6. Featherweight GP (Round two)

  7. Hideo Tokoro vs. Abel Cullum
  8. Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
  9. Masakazu Imanari vs. Bibiano Fernandes
  10. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren
  11. DREAM Middleweight Title match: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Mayhem Miller

Update (4/30): I guess ticket sales aren’t so strong for this event, because Choi Hong-Man vs. Jose Canseco has been booked. Even Deadspin is marking out.

This fight is part of a four-match “Super Hulk Tournament” featuring: Bob Sapp vs. Minowaman, Jan “The Giant” Nortje vs. Sokoudjou, and Mark Hunt vs. Gegard Mousasi. Plus, Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Ronaldo Jacare Souza on the undercard.

5/26 Yokohama Arena (6 PM start time)

Event promoters replaced DJ Taiki with Hideo Tokoro on the card because Taiki has a fractured eye socket.

Thoughts: What a rib on Kid Yamamoto. Yamamoto, who had his own marijuana scandal nationally in Japan, is booked against a former USA Wrestling star who failed two drug tests for using marijuana. Of course, marijuana usage carries a negative stigma in Japan, so the promoters will not mention it. They will simply say that Warren is a former world amateur wrestling champion. The fight media in Japan will not likely bring up the failed drug tests at all.

Sure, there’s plenty of money at stake for Yamamoto in this fight, but this fight is mostly a losing proposition to him.

The politics in the Japanese fight game always amaze me, but then again this shouldn’t be a surprise given all the controversy last year about Yamamoto taking time off due to a knee injury which some MMA insiders questioned the seriousness of (I thought it was legitimate and still believe that it was on the up-and-up). The politics between management, agents, and fighters in Japan has always been volatile, but this is an intriguing story to watch develop.

I do wonder how much leverage Yamamoto has left in the Japanese fight scene given how down everything is lately…

Topics: DREAM, Japan, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 41 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

41 Responses to “DREAM 9 (5/26 Yokohama Arena): Kid Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren”

  1. Minowa says:

    Hideo Tokoro fighting in the 2nd round of the GP?! What happened to DJ taiki?

  2. Rictor says:

    He is out with an injury to his right orbital bone which he received back at the Featherweight GP qualifier against SHOJI.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Can they hand feed a more hand picked opponent for Kid Yamamoto? Seems like in both DREAM and Sengoku, they are putting the best against each other in the first round or two. Then with Kid, they give him a guy who is tailor made for his style.

    Thena again, he has been gone for so long, perhaps this will backfire.

  4. […] his 14th-consecutive win. And it seems like DREAM’s organizers have a sense of humor, because they’re slotting him against former U.S. wrestling champion Joe Warren, who, like Yamamoto, was involved in a reputation-injuring marijuana scandal. (Weed is a big no-no […]

  5. Zach Arnold says:

    If Cage Potato is reading this or someone talks to them, alert them to the trackback up above. I used to leave trackbacks from other spam blogs all the time so that sites like Bloody Elbow could go after them for scraping content, but I didn’t hear back on it.

  6. Zack says:

    “Can they hand feed a more hand picked opponent for Kid Yamamoto?”

    He beat Beebe who everyone accepted as a legitimate opponent for Miquel Torres just about a year ago.

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    They better have considered Beebe a legitimate opponent. He was the WEC Bantamweight champion!

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Of Beebe is legit. The reason I made that comment is:

    1. Beebe was winning that fight. It was the cut that allowed Warren to advance to the next round.

    2. Warren’s style is made for Yamamoto to pick apart. If their wrestling cancels out (which it probably will), Yamamoto has a lot better striking and will be able to just land on the feet at will and pick Warren apart.

    Heck, Warren might win and prove me wrong. I just see this as Warren being the easiest fight for Yamamoto out of the other 7. Well, I guess Tokoro would be easier, but he just came off a loss, so it would look bad to put Yamamoto against him.

  9. Alan Conceicao says:

    Kid would be better off with Fernandes (who he’s beaten already) or Cullum (who is really a flyweight) than Warren. Warren might have been losing up till he got the cut, sure. But he got it and won. No different than Gonzaga/Carwin or Thiago/Koscheck.

  10. rainrider says:

    They obviously want another Fujita vs Gaber outcome on 5/26 kid-warren fight. And they’re probably predicting Fernandez vs Yamamoto 2 for the final whick is very very likely.

  11. Mark says:

    In the terms of freak show trainwreck appeal, I don’t think Hong-Man vs Canseco will ever be topped. Of course I thought that about Bob Sapp vs Kinnikuman so maybe those crazy Japanese promoters will prove me wrong again. It’s going to take something completely nuts like Sakuraba fighting Michael Jackson, though.

    I think what happened to that football player at the LA K-1 show will happen to Canseco. Epic KO!!!

  12. Mark says:

    Something I just thought of: Is Jose even a big deal in Japan for this to make money?

    I know they love baseball in Japan, but he’s a guy who peaked in the late 1980s and then became more infamous for snitching on his teammates for using steroids than anything he did in baseball.

    This has interest in America, but aren’t the Japanese just going to say “Who?”

  13. robthom says:

    I’d think that as much as the Japanese appear to be crazy for Baseball, I’d assume that its a givin that they know who Conseco is.

    It not like they just discovered baseball 10 years ago or something.

    I hadn’t even thought about it, but that might actually be the appeal for signing the fight.

    Too bad he’s gonna get ever loving trounced by the techno goliath though.

  14. Rictor says:

    Nobody in Japan cares for Canseco and to be honest I don’t know if someone knows him at all. The appeal ends at “he was a baseball player”.

  15. robthom says:

    And so spoke emperor of japan, so it shall be.

  16. Chuck says:

    “It’s going to take something completely nuts like Sakuraba fighting Michael Jackson, though.”

    Naw, more like Rumina Sato vs. Latrell Sprewell, or Ray Mercer vs. John McEnroe in a Judo match.

  17. CapnHulk says:



  18. Chuck says:



    LOL! And we all know that McEnroe would bitch and moan his way into getting the refs overturning ippon calls to waza-aris (half point) or yukos (tie breaker score, sometimes referred as quarter points, even though they don’t accumulate). But God knows how many times the refs will shido (penalty) his ass!

  19. rainrider says:

    They used to invite MLB stars to Japan semi-annually?? to promote Japan vs USA game. In 1988 or 89, Jose Canceco who was thought to be the best player at that time got booed by Japanese baseball fans for refusing to participate in it. Now he’s on a make-up trip to Japan to get his ass kicked.

  20. jr says:

    DREAM hearts WAR booking

  21. sheldon says:

    Is it bad that I’m getting giddy for the the Hong Man/Canseco fight? They should have brought Johnnie Morton to be a guest ref.

  22. Fluyid says:

    This redefines freak shows and I like it.

  23. Ivan Trembow says:

    Bob Sapp should be ashamed of himself. That was clearly a worked fight, and a poorly executed one at that.

  24. Ivan Trembow says:

    Sokoudjou’s late punches on Jan Nortje were right up there with Quinton Jackson’s late punches on Wanderlei Silva. I don’t blame Ray Sefo (who was in Nortje’s corner) for being upset.

  25. PizzaChef says:

    HDNet’s coverage is slightly better compared to the live coverage of the past, but holy shit are they returning from commercial too late plus the announcers are annoying the fuck out of me. Ruining the Tokoro and Cullum fight!

  26. Alan Conceicao says:

    Thank you to Joe Warren for getting me my money back after a poor showing on the books for UFC 98.

  27. PizzaChef says:


    TBS executives is going to be PISSED.

  28. Bryan says:

    Well, you can’t say the the judges in KID/Warren fight bought in to the theory of you can’t leave a decision in the hands of Japanese judges in Japan.

  29. Jeff says:

    Zach, I’m curious on how you think this will affect DREAM’s future business.

  30. 45 Huddle says:

    I didn’t see the fights yet, but just seeing Yamamoto losing has to be a huge blow to DREAM.

    Is it me, or is the DREAM Middleweight Title Cursed? Seems like they can’t get that belt going no matter what.

  31. Chuck says:

    Gegard Mousasi beat Mark Hunt, as expected. Mark Hunt now has a losing MMA record, being 5-6. Not bad, it’s close. But to think that just a few scant years ago he was considered a top ten heavyweight. But seriously, quite a few upsets. But I’m not shocked at Sokoudjou beating Nortje AT ALL.

  32. Mark says:

    Well, it could have been much worse for Jose. Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire were disappointed Choi didn’t beat him until he had to be stretchered out.

    But anybody who says Yamamoto’s career is done due to this loss must not remember Sakuraba’s career. That guy lost all the time and still was the most popular fighter in PRIDE. Japanese fans aren’t as fickle as American fans are. And it was a split decision, not a one-sided KTFO.

  33. 45 Huddle says:

    Anybody find links to the fights? I can usually find them pretty easily, but so far I’ve only found the HULK Tournament fights and the MW Title…. And all 5 of those fights felt pointless!!!

  34. robthom says:

    Goodness I cant stand the Australian guys cartoon character/used car salesman voice!
    Another dream show I’ll be forced to watch with the sound off.

    But I guess he’s got the right timber for a night of freakshows though.

    He’s more like a carnival barker than a commentator.

  35. Dave says:

    Sakuraba was a different story, Mark. Sakuraba was during the golden age of MMA in Japan where things kept looking up. KID was DREAM’s, well, let’s face it, only star. There was nobody else. DREAM.8 did not feature KID Yamamoto but any chance they got they mentioned him or got him on camera.

    They tried to build up Aoki but put too much pressure on him and fighting up a weight class made him fall flat. Maybe Kawajiri could be a hope for them, but maybe not.

    I don’t think DREAM is done yet by any means, nor do I think KID is done, but in fragile times like this, he just suffered a major blow and might not come back as strong. I’m curious as to the ratings for this, the last show’s was just abysmal.

  36. 45 Huddle says:

    Heck, the customized a weight class for Kid Yamamoto, gave him the 1st Round off, and he still lost. Not good.

  37. ttt says:

    sounds like Mike Schiavello who does all the K-1 broadcasts

  38. Schiavello sounds like Robert Downey’s character from Natural Born Killers.

    Australian, saying ridiculous things.

  39. robthom says:

    Thats the guy.
    He does do K1 too doesn’t he.

    Lol @ “The Voice”.

  40. liger05 says:

    Was the Sapp fight a work?

  41. Steve4192 says:

    I think some of you guys are greatly overestimating the importance of winning and losing to Japanese fans. Yamamoto’s marketability will not be affected one iota by this loss.

    If anything, it will be a boon for FEG because now they have a legitimate rival who they can build up for a rematch with Kid. It’s been years since Kid has had an opponent who was perceived as a credible threat to him. Kid fighting to take back his honor will be a HUGE seller with the Japanese fans.


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