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DREAM 5 lightweight grand prix tournament concludes tonight on HDNet


Believe it or not but the mixed martial arts action this weekend continues.

The conclusion of the lightweight grand prix tournament for the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion, DREAM, is set to take place late tonight. The action will air live from the Osaka-jo Hall in Osaka, Japan, on HDNet beginning at 2 a.m. ET.

The 16-man tournament has now been played down to the final four. The semi-finals and final will both take place tonight and a champion will finally be crowned. Creative submissions whiz, Shinya Aoki, will meet journeyman, Caol Uno, in one half of the semi-finals. Aoki has been super impressive so far in this tournament with his submission game.

He is the clear favorite to take the title tonight.

The other side of the bracket has a different feel to it with two fighters who love to bang. The winner from this side certainly can't be over looked to win this thing either. Philadelphia native, Eddie Alvarez, is the lone American representative remaining. He'll take on Tatsuya Kawajiri in what looks to have the makings of a classic slugfest.

If it's anything close to the quarterfinal fight between Alvarez and Joachim Hansen, we're in for a treat.

Speaking of Hansen, he'll face Kultar Gill in the tournament reserve bout, which basically means if any of the semi-finalists get hurt or are unable to continue, the winner here will take their place in the final. Hopefully, this fight is just a formality, as well as a showcase fight for Hansen.

Besides the tournament champion being decided tonight, there will be at least four other fights on the card, including Mark Hunt's return to action for the first time since 2006. He'll take on Alistair Overeem in a heavyweight affair.

At one point this card was looking stacked.

However, Mirko Cro Cop had to withdraw because of an injury and so did "Kid" Yamamoto. The Nick Diaz vs Hayato "Mach" Sakurai welterweight title fight was also pushed back because of scheduling errors. If those guys could have remained on the card, this had the potential to be a great event.

But there's nothing like the final night of a Japanese grand prix tournament, making this event still something to be excited about. The conclusion of that alone is more than worth watching. will be up into the wee hours of the night, providing live updates for those who can't watch the event live. Check in early and often right here for all your DREAM 5 coverage.

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