Elite XC lightweight Eddie Alvarez advanced to the semifinals of the 2008 Dream Lightweight Grand Prix this weekend, outpointing Joachim Hansen to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
It was an epic back-and-forth battle that some onlookers are nominating as a possible "Fight of the Year" candidate.
Caol Uno and Mitsuhiro Ishida also put forth a spirited effort until Uno ended the contest in the second round with a submission (rear naked choke) ... it was an entertaining fight to say the least. Uno, like Alvarez, punched his ticket to the grand prix semifinals with the win.
And believe it or not, Nick Diaz actually competed in a mixed martial arts bout -- something that he has not done since November 2007. It was a long strange trip to Japan for Diaz, but he came through with a convincing technical knockout of Katsuya Inoue in the first round of their bout.
Diaz is set to have a quick turnaround and take on Muhsin Corbbrey on June 14 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jason Mayhem Miller also returned to action over the weekend with a first round technical knockout of his own over Katsuyori Shibata. Mayhem has been on the sidelines for the past few months with a leg injury.
Here are the complete DREAM 3 quick results:
Takeshi Yamazaki defeats Shoji Maruyama via unanimous decision
Jason Miller defeats Katsuyori Shibata via technical knockout (strikes) in round one
Melvin Manhoef defeats Dae Won Kim via technical knockout in round one
Daisuke Nakamura defeats Bu Kyung Jung via knockout in round two
Nick Diaz defeats Katsuya Inoue via technical knockout strikes in round one
Tatsuya Kawajiri defeats Luiz Firmino via unanimous decision
Eddie Alvarez defeats Joachim Hansen via unanimous decision
Caol Uno defeats Mitsuhiro Ishida via submission (rear naked choke) in round two
Of course, there was one lightweight grand prix bout between Shinya Aoki and Katsuhiko Nagata that did not take place. This final piece of the puzzle will be revealed next months at DREAM 4 on June 15.
This is shaping up to be one very thrilling event with some great match up ... and it's only going to get better.