Japan's Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) has announced that WAMMA lightweight champion Shinya Aoki is set to do battle with DREAM 2008 lightweight grand prix winner Joachim Hansen for the promotions Lightweight strap at ‘DREAM 10’ from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan, on July 20.
This will be the third showdown between the pair.
Their first meeting would go down at ‘Pride Shockwave 2006’ which would see "Hellboy" succumb to the ground game of the "Tobikan Judan" and become part of the ever growing highlight reel of Aoki’s by being victimized via gogoplata.
However the second encounter would go a little differently.
They would end up facing off again in the DREAM Lightweight Tournament Final at ‘DREAM 5’ last July.
Aoki was trying to work his ground game as usual, when Hansen decided he wanted no part of it and got back to his feet and threw a earth shattering left punch to the jaw of the still grounded Aoki. This would leave him dazed and prepped for more punishment courtesy of some nasty strikes forcing the referee to jump in and save the helpless victim.
Now a rubber match is in place for one of the combatants to get the upper hand on the scorecard.
Hansen, who once said he would rather have bleeding hemorrhoids than fight for the UFC, hasn’t competed since his last clash with Aoki in the summer of 08.
He was set to throw down with highly regarded Lightweight standout Gesias "JZ" Calvancante in a non-title bout at ‘FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008' on New Years Eve until Hansen failed pre-fight medicals and was forced to pull out of the fight with a mysterious "head injury" just hours before the event.
Now it appears he’s back to full fitness and ready to scrap come ‘DREAM 10’.
Aoki on the other hand has been keeping relatively busy, making quick work on the ground against the likes of Eddie Alvarez (16-2) and David Gardner (16-11) in recent months.
He would end up running into a wall last month at ‘DREAM 8’ when in a misguided attempt to move up to Welterweight, Aoki was knocked out cold in a mere 27 seconds by Hayato Sakurai thanks to some vicious ground and pound and deadly knees from "Mach."
That setback hasn’t appeared to put him off from seeking out larger opponents, since he is set to collide with Fedor Emelianenko (30-1) at M-1 Challenge on April 29 in Tokyo, Japan — despite being separated by four weight classes.
Of course this time Aoki won’t have to worry about any strikes being thrown to his temple as his bout with Emelianenko will be a special five minute grappling exhibition.
‘DREAM 10' will also play host to the semifinals of their Welterweight Grand Prix, which will feature Hayato Sakurai and also jiu-jitsu phenom Andre Galvao.
Here is the current line-up for ‘DREAM 10’:
DREAM Lightweight Title
Joachim Hansen (19-7) vs. Shinya Aoki (20-4)
Welterweight Grand Prix Semifinal participants
Andre Galvao (3-0)
Jason High (7-1)
Hayato Sakurai (35-8-2)
Marius Zaromskis (9-2)
That’s it for now. Look for more fights to be added as we get closer to July 20.
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