A bantamweight match-up between Yusup Saadulaev (8-1-1) and Hideo Tokoro (30-24-1) has been added to DREAM's New Year's Eve card, "DREAM: New Year! 2011." The contest will serve as a tourney-reserve bout for the promotion's bantamweight tournament. DREAM officials announced the match-up this week.
Saadulaev, Bloody Elbow's No. 4 bantamweight prospect, is a 26-year-old grappling wizard hailing from Dagestan, Russia. Known as "Maestro", the youngster kicked off his mixed martial arts career in style, ripping through a seven-fight win streak before dropping a decision to Rodolfo Marques at Dream 17.
Tokoro, meanwhile, hopes to return to prominence after a narrow September loss to Antonio Banuelos abruptly ended his tournament run. Prior to the setback, the 34-year-old amassed a four-fight win streak capped by a victory over Masakazu Imanari in the bantamweight grand prix final.
"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
Bantamweight Tourney-Reserve: Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev