With less than a month remaining until DREAM's inaugural event of 2010, Fighting and Entertainment Group announced four fights for the card on Thursday, February 25.
DREAM 13, which features a featherweight title bout between Joachim Hansen and Bibiano Fernandes, will take place on Monday, March 22 at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. The event will be broadcast on HDNet in North America.
Pride and UFC veteran, Ryo Chonan (16-10), will make his DREAM debut against the Brazilian Kyokushin Karate stylist, Andrews Nakahara (2-1).
Chonan, former mainstay of Pride's Bushido events, made his return to the Japanese promotion, DEEP, after a sub-par stint in UFC. At "Deep - 43 Impact" he bested fellow Pride veteran, Jutaro Nakao. Nakahara made his MMA debut at DREAM 2 and was immediately baptized by fire at the hands of Kazushi Sakuraba. After losing to Sakuraba by submission, he earned back-to-back TKO victories over Dong Sik Yoon and Shungo Oyama. The upcoming bout against Chonan marks his return to MMA competition in nearly a year.
The clash of Japanese champions features Katsunori Kikuno (12-2-2) and Kuniyoshi Hironaka (16-6).
Katsunori Kikuno, current DEEP lightweight champion, suffered the second loss of his career against Eddie Alvarez at DREAM 12 last October. Known for his unique, Kyokushin karate-based style and trademark crecent kick, Kikuno succumbed to Alvarez's arm triangle choke in a seesaw battle between champions under DEEP and Bellator FC banners.
UFC veteran, Kuniyoshi Hironaka competed as a welterweight for a large portion of his career. Since dropping to lightweight, he has strung together four-fight winning streak; his victory over Yoshihiro Koyama last September earned him the Cage Force Lightweight title. Earlier this month, he triumphed in his Shoot boxing debut.
The Super Hulk Tournament winner, Minowaman (44-30-8), will go back to his giant-hunting way when he welcomes Jimmy "The Titan" Ambritz (14-12-1) back to the DREAM ring.
Minowaman scored a stunning, KO victory over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the final round of the Super Hulk Tournament at Dynamite!! 2009. In addition to Sokoudjou, he dispatched Bob Sapp and Hong Man Choi in the tournament. The former King of the Cage Super Heavyweight Champion, Jimmy Ambriz makes his DREAM return to show Minowaman who the real "Super Hulk" is. In his DREAM debut at DREAM 6, he lost to the former Pride star, Sergei Kharitonov. Since then, he has gone 1-2 with a victory over Chris Clark and consecutive losses to Jeff Monson.
Finally, former Elite XC Lightweight champion, KJ Noons (7-2) will make his DREAM debut against the Chute Boxe/Universidade da luta brawler, Andre Amade (6-4-1).
Noons, who was slated to make his Strikeforce debut last month at "Strikeforce: Miami" is the latest in the recent string of fighters making the promotional leap between Strikeforce and DREAM. His last MMA fight was in June 2008 - a TKO victory over Yves Edwards in Elite XC.
Since then, he has focused on his boxing career, in which his record stands at 8-2 with five knockouts. Amade, on the other hand, is in desperate need of a victory. The long-time training partner of Shogun and Ninja Rua has lost his last three fights against Katsunori Kikuno, Eddie Alvarez, and Gesias Cavalcante. Like Noons, he is known primarily as a striker and has competed in K-1 and Shoot boxing, in addition to MMA.
Stay tuned to MMAmania for more information regarding the DREAM 13 fight card in the coming weeks.