Shinya Aoki -- who sustained injuries during his recent unanimous decision win over Gesias "J.Z." Calvancante -- will remain in the DREAM 2008 Lightweight Grand Prix and fight Katsuhiko Nagata in the second round of the tournament.
However, the 154-pound tilt will take place at DREAM 4 on June 15 and not on May 11 at DREAM 3 along with the other match ups.
Calvancante was actually approached about advancing to the next round as a replacement for Aoki, but several published reports indicate that the American Top Team-trained fighter and promotion officials could not strike a deal.
With less than a week until showtime, it appears that DREAM opted instead to give Aoki time to heal from his injuries rather than plug-in another competitor.
In fact, Aoki was at a disadvantage because of the timing of his rematch with Calvancante -- their first encounter at DREAM 1 in March ended in a no contest because of illegal strikes.
And he took some serious punishment in the first round ... so much so that the bout appeared to be almost over. He weathered the storm, however, and went on to demonstrate the amazing Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills that have put him atop the world rankings in his category.
DREAM 3 will air on the HDNet Network LIVE from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, at 3 a.m. ET. In addition to the quarterfinal lightweight tournament bouts, the event will also feature popular American fighters Nick Diaz and Jason "Mayhem" Miller (in separate bouts).
In addition to the Aoki-Nagata fight, DREAM 4 will showcase the second round of the 2008 middleweight tournament, as well as the heavyweight showdown between Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic’s and Jerome LeBanner.