Famed Japanese grappler Shinya Aoki is back in action this fall and hoping to add yet another American import to his list of 2011 victims when he takes on longtime WEC veteran Rob McCullough at the upcoming DREAM 17 event slated for the Saitama Super Arena on Sept. 24 in Saitama, Japan.
Aoki (28-5) was last seen trying to break Rob Clementi's neck at DREAM: "Fight for Japan" back on March 29. It was the third straight submission win and second by neck crank for "The Tobikan Judan," who gave Lyle Beerbohm the Regan MacNeil treatment at Strikeforce: "Diaz vs. Daley" last April.
McCullough (19-7) managed to string together back-to-back wins over Isaac DeJesus and Corey Hill under the Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) banner before getting bit by the Bellator "Pitbull" Patricky Freire. "Razor" may be short on consistency but he's long on experience, which he'll need every ounce of to stay out of danger on fight night.
Also announced for the Sept. 24 event is a lightweight scrap between Sengoku veteran Satoru Kitaoka and former Shooto champion Willamy "Chiquerim" Freire.
Here is the current DREAM 17 fight card and line-up:
DREAM 17 will also feature the opening round of the promotion's upcoming Bantamweight Grand Prix Tournament. Participants for the 135-pound grand prix are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates to this still-developing fight card.