Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dream 11 asks as many questions as it answers

Dream 11 gave us a lot of great fights, but also left us with some questions unanswered. What would have happened if just a few things went a different way? What if the Ref saw things the way we did on TV?

On a night where the first ever Japanese Dream Champion was crowned, Dream found itself once again with fights that ended in a controversial manner. Dream put on one of it's most exciting nights of fights so far, yet despite the finishes, Joe Warren and Joaquin Hanson must be thinking 'what happened?'

In the case of Warren, it can be argued that he never tapped, thus never lost his fight. While watching the fight, I thought that maybe Joe tapped, but upon further review, I've seen worse arm bars escaped. You'll never know what happend if you ask Joe; I believe he would never say he tapped, but it was tight. If the ref had let the fight go a little longer things might have changed. Perhaps Joe would have come back and made it to the finals, but the way it was called in the ring is the way it will stand. One thing is for sure, we haven't heard the last of Joe Warren.

As for Joaquin, while he did get caught and did tap out, one has to wonder if the fight wasn't stopped earlier if he would have won. The groin strike was never shown clearly and Aoki is known for his great acting when being injured. The first up kick was legal for sure, but his follow up appeared to be a foul. While rules in Dream have previously let up kicks on the ground to be legal, today that was not to be. Aoki took the entire time given to him to recover, but it's not clear what he was recovering from. The kicks never hit an illegal spot on Aoki's head, but he acted as if it had. This makes one wonder about Aoki and his true fighting heart. If this was the first time Aoki found himself in a position where he had an injury during a fight, I might be able to forgive him, but this is the second time in a big fight that Aoki has stopped in the middle of a fight after a seemingly legal blow. I think this says everything about how Aoki would do in the states. For him to stay successful, he should stay in Japan.

In a show of true Japanese spirit, Minowaman showed that even if he is outweighed has seemingly no advantage over his opponent, he still has a chance. This fight also showed that ground fighting can really be the equalizer in such freak show matchups. He has made a name fighting many fighters bigger than him, but has had some real trouble beating fighters with any kind of real skill. The finals against Sokoudjou will give him a chance.

Speaking of Sokoudjou, why is Bob Sapp still fighting in MMA? He stands no chance against anyone who has any sort of ground game at all. He also seems to find himself in a fetal position more often than not when fighting anyone who isn't a pro-wrestler or TV personality. Bob will continue to ride the tide of Japanese money until Japan gets over his gimmick.

Kawajiri and Sakuraba were both given fights that they should have won, and they did. Both fights proved nothing for either fighter and is more like a squash match in Pro Wrestling to get a guy over with the crowd. Kawajiri will be a tough test for Aoki and one I'm not sure Shinya can pass. Sakuraba needs to find a way to get fights that aren't dangerous to his health as he posses no threat to any title but can still be entertaining. Perhaps fighting other legends of his time would be a good fit for Kazushi.

All in all Dream 11 was an awesome card and if you don't have HDNet, you need to call your provider and get it. Free fight cards like this are few and far inbetween so get on the phone and get hooked up now!


  1. joe warren tapped. watch it again.I hate it when i roll and ppl tap like that. If you try and do sneaky little "finger taps" and complain afterwards and say you never tapped you deserve to get your arm snapped off

  2. The next fighter he faces will probably snap his arm out of spite, just to make a point. Submission specialists hate babies who whine about not tapping eventhough video evidence clearly shows it.

  3. No way Joe Warren could have escaped that arm bar. It was sunk in deep, a couple more secs and his arm would have snapped. The ref made the right call for his own safety. By the way Team Quest fight fighters are notorious for their 'phantom taps'. Watch Lindland vs Bustamante.

    Aoki did well by taking the full amunt of time awarded to him. Its the smart thing to do.

  4. the rear camera view makes the aoki up kick look like a solid ball shot. Although he does grab his head after wards not his groin...

  5. aoki did get kicked in the balls, you can clearly see it in the replay. warrrrrrrrr AOKI

  6. Aoki got smashed with a vicious ball-shot. Getting up-kicked in the nads by a professional fighter hurts, fact. Aoki might be afraid to take a hit, you can try to argue that if you want, but to claim he cheated here means you've not reviewed the footage very carefully!

    As for you having seen worse arm-bars escaped... can you name one or two please? I find it doubtful, especially when there's over 9 minutes left in the round.