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DREAM 17 Fight Card: Banuelos, Tokoro Headline Eight Competitors Announced For Bantamweight Tournament

Matchups for the DREAM world bantamweight grand prix have been officially announced. The GP will be will take place at DREAM 17 on September 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Officials for the promotion announced eight competitors that are scheduled to compete in the tournament's opening round. The matchups are as follows: Antonio Banuelos (18-7) vs. Hideo Tokoro (30-23-1), Bibiano Fernandes (8-3) vs. Takafumi Otuska (12-8-1), Masakazu Imanari (23-9-2) vs. Abel Cullum (18-5) and Rodolfo Marques (12-1) vs. Yusup Saadulaev (8-0-1).

Longtime WEC-veteran Banuelos will fight outside of the Zuffa banner for the first time since 2008, squaring off against the tournament's previous bantamweight winner, Tokoro, who captured the crown during his current career-high tying four-fight win streak.

Former DREAM featherweight champion Fernandes looks to rebound from his first loss since 2007, losing his belt against Hiroyuki Takaya at New Year's Eve's "Dynamite!! 2010" card. He takes on Takafumi Otsuka, a journeyman DEEP-veteran that has dropped four of his last six bouts.

DEEP Bantamweight champion Imanari makes his first appearance since losing to Tokoro in the final of DREAM's previous bantamweight tournament. He faces former-King of the Cage flyweight champion Abel Cullum, a seven year veteran on the heels of the first two-fight losing streak of his career.

Lastly, Nove Uniao's Marques will pit his a nine-fight win streak against the undefeated Chicago-based Saadulaev in a battle of DREAM newcomers.

Updated DREAM 17 fight card:

Bantamweight Tournament: Hideo Tokoro vs. Antonio Banuelos
Bantamweight Tournament: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Takafumi Otsuka
Bantamweight Tournament: Masakazu Imanari vs. Abel Cullum
Bantamweight Tournament: Rodolfo Marques vs. Yusup Saadulaev
Featherweight: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Joachim Hansen
Lightweight: Shinya Aoki vs. Rob McCullough
Lightweight: Satoru Kitaoka vs. Willamy Freire
Featherweight: Takeshi Inoue vs. Caol Uno