Dream (mixed martial arts)

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Company typePrivate
IndustryMixed martial arts promotion
FoundedFebruary 13, 2008 (2008-02-13)
FounderSadaharu Tanikawa (President of FEG)
DefunctJune 3, 2012 (2012-06-03); revived: October 25, 2012 (2012-10-25)
Key people
Keiichi Sasahara, Head and Matchmaker
Daisuke Sato, Productions Director
ParentReal Entertainment Co. Ltd.

Dream (styled DREAM in capitals) was a Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) organization promoted by former PRIDE FC executives and K-1 promoter Fighting and Entertainment Group.

Dream replaced FEG's previous-run mixed martial arts fight series, Hero's. It retained many of the stylistic flourishes and personnel from Pride FC broadcasts, including fight introducer Lenne Hardt.

They promoted over 20 shows highlighting Japanese and international talent, establishing or enhancing the careers of fighters such as Shinya Aoki, Gesias Cavalcante, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Ronaldo Jacaré, Eddie Alvarez, Jason Miller, Kazushi Sakuraba, Gegard Mousasi and Alistair Overeem.



After Zuffa acquired Pride, former Dream Stage Entertainment executives put on a collaborative New Year's Eve mixed martial arts event with Shooto, M-1 Global, and the Fighting and Entertainment Group, called Yarennoka!. While the event was intended to be a farewell show for Pride, its success and further petitioning by Japanese MMA fans prompted the FEG and the DSE staff to combine their efforts and form a new promotion.[citation needed]

Their new promotion was confirmed on February 13, 2008, along with Hero's dissolution. All of Hero's' fighters were confirmed (such as Hero's champions Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Yoshihiro Akiyama and JZ Calvan) to be part of the new promotion along with the additions of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, Shinya Aoki, Kazushi Sakuraba, Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.[1] Another notable announcement was Dream's partnership with M-1 Global, who confirmed that they would allow the last Heavyweight Champion of Pride (and the winner of the 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix), Fedor Emelianenko, to fight in their events. Emelianenko was present at the Dream press conference to promote the alliance between the two shows.[2]


On May 2, 2008, Dream aired for the first time in the United States with a repeat of Dream 1 on HDNet. A repeat of Dream 2 was aired the following day, while Dream 3 was aired live on May 11. The promotion's later events would air as a part of the network's HDNet Fights series.[3]

On May 10, 2008, Dream announced the working partnership with US promotion EliteXC. The two groups intended to share fighters and eventually co-promote shows. However, with EliteXC went bankrupt before the alliance could materialize.[4]

On August 5, 2009, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the two promotions had signed a formal alliance, in-which the two organizations will exchange fighters.[5]

On, November 23, 2011, sources close to ONE Championship announced a new alliance with Dream to copromote shows and participate in fighter exchange.[6]

On January 17, 2012 ProElite announced a partnership with Dream to copromote shows and exchange fighters.[7]

Cease of business operations[edit]

On May 16, 2012, Sadaharu Tanikawa officially declared the bankruptcy of FEG.[8] The promotion began to be managed by its proper parental company Real Entertainment Co. Ltd. and as of June 3, 2012, Dream has effectively gone out of business.[9]

The promotion's final show, "Dream.18: Special NYE 2012", was announced for December 31, 2012, under the financial backing of kickboxing promotion Glory Sports International. The event promoted mixed martial arts and kickboxing bouts at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, carrying on the tradition of fight events every New Year's Eve.[10]


Weight classes[edit]

Dream had 7 weight classes. Unlike Hero's, each weight class had a champion with a defendable title.[2]

  • Bantamweight – 61 kilograms (134 lb)[11]
  • Featherweight – 65 kilograms (143 lb)
  • Lightweight – 70 kilograms (154 lb)
  • Welterweight – 76 kilograms (168 lb)
  • Middleweight – 84 kilograms (185 lb)
  • Light Heavyweight – 93 kilograms (205 lb)
  • Heavyweight – no upper limit

Round length[edit]

  • There were three 5-minute rounds.


  • Fights were to be judged in their entirety by three judges, not on a round-by-round ten-point-must basis (more common to North American promotions).
  • A winner was always to be declared, as draws were not possible.


Dream allowed fighters latitude in their choice of attire, but open finger gloves, a mouthguard and a protective cup were mandatory. Fighters were allowed to use tape on parts of their body or to wear a gi top, gi pants, wrestling shoes, kneepads, elbow pads, or ankle supports at their own discretion, though each had to be checked by the referee before the fight.

Fouls and violations[edit]

  • Stomps and soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent were not allowed (unless both fighters were on the ground), but they were allowed to the rest of the body.
  • Elbows to the head were prohibited.
  • If there was a 15 kilograms (33 lb) or more weight difference between the fighters, knees to the head of a grounded opponent were not allowed.
  • A grounded opponent was defined as one in a three-point position. If a fighter had, for example, both knees and one hand on the floor facing the mat, then no kicks to the head were allowed.
  • Strikes to the back of the head were not allowed.

Tournament substitutions[edit]

  • In case of a "no contest" or injury, the fighter able to continue would go through to the next round; if neither fighter was able to continue, the promoter would choose a replacement fighter to go through.

Final champions[edit]

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses
Heavyweight Unlimited Netherlands Alistair Overeem December 31, 2010 (Dynamite!! 2010)
Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205.0 lb) Netherlands Gegard Mousasi September 25, 2010 (Dream 16) 1
Middleweight 84 kg (185.2 lb) Netherlands Gegard Mousasi September 23, 2008 (Dream 6)
Welterweight 76 kg (167.6 lb) Lithuania Marius Zaromskis July 20, 2009 (Dream 10) 1
Lightweight 70 kg (154.3 lb) Japan Shinya Aoki October 6, 2009 (Dream 11) 2
Featherweight 65 kg (143.3 lb) Japan Hiroyuki Takaya December 31, 2010 (Dynamite!! 2010) 2
Bantamweight 61 kg (134.5 lb) Brazil Bibiano Fernandes December 31, 2011 (Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoko 2011) 0

Tournament finalists[edit]

Year Weight Division Champion Finalist
2008 Lightweight Norway Joachim Hansen Japan Shinya Aoki
2008 Middleweight Netherlands Gegard Mousasi Brazil Ronaldo Souza
2009 Welterweight Lithuania Marius Zaromskis United States Jason High
2009 Featherweight Brazil Bibiano Fernandes Japan Hiroyuki Takaya
2009 Superhulk (openweight) Japan Ikuhisa Minowa Cameroon Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
2010 Light Heavyweight Netherlands Gegard Mousasi Japan Tatsuya Mizuno
2011 JP Bantamweight Japan Hideo Tokoro Japan Masakazu Imanari
2011 Bantamweight Brazil Bibiano Fernandes United States Antonio Banuelos

Notable fighters[edit]


In America, the promotion was aired on HDNet.[12]

# Event Title Date Arena Location Attendees Broadcast
24 Dream 18[13] December 31, 2012 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 10,651 SkyPerfect
23 Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 December 31, 2011 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 24,606 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
22 Dream 17 September 24, 2011 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 9,270 HDNet
21 Dream: Japan GP Final July 16, 2011 Ariake Coliseum Tokyo, Japan 8,142 HDNet
20 Dream: Fight for Japan! May 29, 2011 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 6,522 HDNet
19 Dynamite!! 2010 December 31, 2010 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 26,729 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
18 Dream 16 September 25, 2010 Nippon Gaishi Hall Nagoya, Aichi, Japan 9,304 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
17 Dream 15 Jul 10, 2010 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 13,028 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
16 Dream 14 May 29, 2010 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 12,712 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
15 Dream 13 March 22, 2010 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 13,712 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
14 Fields Dynamite!! The Power of Courage 2009 December 31, 2009 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 45,606 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
13 Dream 12: Cage of Dreams October 25, 2009 Osaka-jo Hall Osaka, Osaka, Japan 10,112 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
12 Dream 11: Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 Final Round October 6, 2009 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 14,039[14] Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
11 Dream 10: Welterweight Grand Prix 2009 Final Round July 20, 2009 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Saitama Super Arena 11,970[15] Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
10 Dream 9: Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 Second Round May 26, 2009 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 15,009 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
9 Dream 8: Welterweight Grand Prix 2009 First Round April 5, 2009 Nippon Gaishi Hall Nagoya, Aichi, Japan 9,129 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
8 Dream 7: Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 First Round March 8, 2009 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 19,528[16] Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
7 Fields Dynamite!! 2008 December 31, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 25,634 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
6 Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round September 23, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 20,929 SkyPerfect; HDNet
5 Dream 5: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round July 21, 2008 Osaka-jo Hall Osaka, Osaka, Japan 11,986 SkyPerfect; HDNet
4 Dream 4: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round June 15, 2008 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 14,037 SkyPerfect; HDNet
3 Dream 3: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round May 11, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 21,789 SkyPerfect; HDNet
2 Dream 2: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round April 29, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 21,397 SkyPerfect; HDNet
1 Dream 1: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round March 15, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 19,120 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet

Event locations[edit]

  • Total event number: 24

These cities have hosted the following numbers of Dream events as of Dream 18:

Saitama – 15
Yokohama – 4
Nagoya – 2
Osaka – 2
Tokyo - 1


  1. ^ "K-1's new Dream includes Cro Cop". Mma Weekly. February 13, 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Loiseleur, Tony (February 13, 2008). "'Dream' Come True?". Sherdog.com. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
  3. ^ "Mark Cuban's HDNET to air Japan's Dream". Mma Weekly. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
  4. ^ "PRO ELITE & Dream ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP". MMAWeekly. 2008. Archived from the original on May 27, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  5. ^ "Strikeforce and Dream Formalizing "Alliance"". MMAWeekly. 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Dream, One FC Announce Deal to Co-Promote Events, Exchange Talent". mmafighting.com. November 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  7. ^ "ProElite to Partner With Dream". mmafighting.com. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  8. ^ FEG's bankruptcy Archived 2012-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, May 17, 2012, Muay Thai TV
  9. ^ "The Dream is Gone; Japanese MMA Promotion Runs Out of Viable Options". mmaweekly.com. June 3, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Gross, Josh (October 25, 2012). "GSI fight card set for Dec. 31 in Japan". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  11. ^ Loiseleur, Tony (2011-04-20). "'Dream: Fight For Japan' Bantamweight Tournament Bracket Set". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  12. ^ "新格闘技イベント「Dream」誕生!ミルコの参戦も決定3.15さいたまで旗揚げ、総勢23選手が会見に出席". Sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp. 2008-02-14. Archived from the original on February 17, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
  13. ^ "'GLORY teams up with Dream to stage 'Dream 18 - Special NYE 2012'". GLORYWorldSeries.com. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  14. ^ Tony Loiseleur. "Aoki Subs Hansen; Fernandes Wins Dream GP".
  15. ^ Dream Run: Zaromskis Wins Grand Prix
  16. ^ DiPietro, Monty (March 8, 2009). "HELLO JAPAN! SHINYA AOKI WINS AT Dream 7". MMAWeekly.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2009.

External links[edit]