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Baseball's steroid stool pigeon featured in DREAM 9 'Super Hulk Tournament' (Updated)

Only in Japan (or perhaps Alabama).

In a bid to bolster their daunting ratings, Japans Fighting & Entertainment Group (FEG) are pulling out all the stops. According to their official website, they have constructed a open weight tournament which is being billed as a "Super Hulk Tournament" for their DREAM 9 event which takes place from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, on May 26.

It will feature eight fighters of varying size and ability.

First up will be fan favorite Ikuhisa Minowa, who has fought every name under the sun (albeit to inconsistent results). He will be put to the task of facing off against Bob "The Beast" Sapp who relies on his size when fighting and not so much technical prowess.

UFC washout Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou will look to get back to his wining ways but will be considerably outsized in his attempt to do so when he clashes with 6’ 11", 330 lb. Jan "The Giant" Nortje.

Gegard Mousasi, who vacated his DREAM Middleweight title recently because he desired a move to Light Heavyweight, will face off against dangerous kickboxer Mark Hunt.

And 7’ 2" gargantuan Hong Man Choi is reportedly set to do battle with baseball star Jose Canseco.


I still remain a little skeptical about Canseco’s participation. It wouldn’t be unlike Japan to have someone dressed up as and "play" his part. This is after all, the same promotion that gave birth to the mixed martial arts debut of a Japanese anime character in Kinniku Mantaro.

It looks like we’ll have to wait and see though what will actually come to fruition within this "Super Hulk" Tournament.

DREAM 9 will also feature the promotion’s featherweight grand prix quarterfinals.

The focal point of which will boast the long awaited return of 139-pound superstar Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who was offered a first-round bye in the tournament in hopes that he will have recovered from a previous injury in time to compete. He’s coming off a long 16-month layoff but now he’s finally ready to compete and will take on wrestling standout Joe Warren.

In non-tournament action will be highly regarded lightweight standout Gesias "JZ" Calvancante who is set to do battle with Japanese mainstay Tatsuya Kawajiri.

And grappling phenom Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza is slated to once again do battle with the charismatic Jason "Mayhem" Miller, in a bout that will be contested for the vacant DREAM Middleweight title.

And although the card looks to be complete, DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara teased that there is more to come.

Oh my.

Here is the current line-up for ‘DREAM 9’:

Featherweight grand prix quarterfinals:
Norifumi Yamamoto (17-1) vs. Joe Warren (1-0)
Masakazu Imanari (16-6-1) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (4-2)
Yoshiro Maeda (24-6-2) vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (10-6-1)
Abel Cullum (14-2) vs. Hideo Tokoro (21-16-1)

"Super Hulk" Openweight quarterfinals:

Ikuhisa Minowa (41-30) vs. Bob Sapp (10-3-1)
Jan Nortje (2-5) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-4)
Gegard Mousasi (24-2-1) vs. Mark Hunt (5-5)
Hong Man Choi (1-2) vs. Jose Canseco (0-0)

DREAM middleweight title:
Ronaldo Souza (10-2) vs. Jason Miller (22-6)

Non-tournament bouts:
Gesias Calvancante (14-2-1) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (23-5-2)

For more on DREAM click here.

***UPDATE: For all the North American fans looking to catch some of the action, HDNet announced earlier today that DREAM 9 will air live from Japan on May 26.

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