September 23rd, 2008
Dream 6 took place at the Saitama Super Arena tonight. The promotion’s cards at this venue have proved popular and once again this event attracted a crowd of around 20,000 people.
The card was headlined by the final of the Middleweight (187lbs) Grand Prix. Earlier in the evening Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo Souza had both booked their spot in the main event with quickfire submission wins.
Mousasi needed just 88 seconds to submit Melvin Manhoef with a triangle choke. Souza barely broke a sweat either, submitting Zelg Galesicwith an armbar after 87 seconds.
So both men were fresh heading into the final. After a tentative start ‘Jacare’ dived for a single leg and then instantly switched to a double leg takedown which he completed in style, picking Mousasi up and slamming him down.
The Brazilian moved from side control into half guard. Souza may be a submission specialist but Mousasi is no slouch on the ground as he proved earlier in the evening.
Unable to find an opening the Brazilian elected to posture up and throw down punches. But Mousasi was not just looking to defend submissions, he was actively looking for openings to attack.
As Souza prepared to throw a punch down Mousasi thrust his leg upwards. It connected cleanly with the Brazilian’s face and he was unconscious before he hit the canvass.
It was an unconventional ending, with the victor flat on his back and his unconscious opponent lying on top. But that didn’t stop the celebrations for Mousasi who captures a title for the second time in his career.
Mousasi extends his winning streak to 11 and is the first ever Dream middleweight champion. He previously held the same title with Cage Warriors and his record now stands at 23-2.
Souza drops to 10-2 and sees his ten fight winning streak snapped. It was a first defeat for the Brazilian since his pro debut in 2003.
Best of the rest
The co-main event was an eagerly anticipated heavyweight bout which ended in an anticlimactic no contest. Alistair Overeem (28-11) made a strong start against Mirko Crocop (23-6-2) but landed a series of knees to the Croatian’s groin causing the fight to be called off.
Earlier in the evening Shinya Aoki (18-3) bounced back from his defeat to Joachim Hansen in the final of the Lightweight Grand Prix at Dream 5. The BJJ black belt needed just 70 seconds to submit Todd Moore with a neck crank.
An all Japanese welterweight clash pitted Yoshihiro Akiyama (12-1-0-2) against Masanori Tonooka (1-2) and the Pride veteran prevailed. He sunk in an armbar at 6:26 of round 1 extending his three year undefeated streak.
This is part of our retrospective series looking at some classic shows and fights.