New Year's Eve may begin to feel like 2006 for fight fans. According to a report on HDNet's "Inside MMA", Pride veterans Fedor Emelianenko (33-4, 1 NC) and Shinya Aoki (29-5, 1 NC) have been tentatively added to DREAM's end-of-the-year card -- "DREAM: New Year! 2011."
Bloody Elbow has confirmed Aoki's opponent to be longtime friend and former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka (29-10-9). In the past, the two often stated they would never meet in the ring, but it appears that sentiment has since been vacated. Both men have been immensely successful of late, as Kitaoka puts his four-fight win streak on the line against Aoki's six-fight tear.
An opponent for Emelianenko has not been finalized, however Olympic gold-medalist judoka Satoshi Ishii (4-1-1) is said to be the leading candidate. Emelianenko snapped a three-fight slump over the weekend by defeating former UFC contender Jeff Monson via unanimous decision. Ishii last fought to a draw against former WEC champion Paulo Filho in September.
"DREAM: Fight for Japan. How are you! New Year! 2011" takes place on December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event will air on HDNet.
"DREAM: Fight for Japan. How are you! New Year! 2011" fight card:
Featherweight Championship: Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi Inoue
Lightweight Championship: Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka
Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. TBD
Featherweight: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Welterweight: Hayato Sakurai vs. Ryo Chonan
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: Masakazu Imanari vs. Antonio Banuelos
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Rodolfo Marques
Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner of Imanari/Banuelos vs. Winner of Fernandes/Marques