Fresh off an eventful card that took place this morning at DREAM 9, DREAM has announced a couple of unexpected match-ups for the organizations tenth event scheduled for July 20.
Shinya Aoki, who is coming off a knockout loss to Hayato Sakurai in the first round of the DREAM welterweight grand prix, will be returning to the lightweight division to take on Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. Ribeiro was last seen defeating Katsuhiko Nagata on the same Dream 8 card that Aoki and Sakurai fought against one another on.
Also appearing on the card will be the return of Paulo Filho to Japan as he squares off against devastating kickboxer Melvin Manhoef.
Filho, the former Pride superstar has had his share of problems over the past year. He has dealt with substance abuse problems and suffered his first defeat when he lost to Chael Sonnen at WEC 36 back in November of 2008. That bout was a rematch of their first fight which Filho won via tapout. For their second fight Filho failed to make weight and seemed somewhere else during the fight and many questioned his mental status at the time. He has since decided to move up to the light heavyweight division and will face a stiff test in Manhoef.
Manhoef has been keeping busy as he was victorious against Stefan Leko in a kickboxing match on May 16 in Amsterdam. His last MMA bout was against Mark Hunt on FEG’s K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve show. He defeated the much bigger Hunt via knockout in just 18 seconds. He is primarily an aggressive stand-up fighter with extraordinary striking skills.
Also announced is a lightweight tilt between Katsunori Kikuno and Andre Amade.
Kikuno will be making his DREAM debut while Amade participated in the lightweight grand prix where he lost to Eddie Alvarez by first round TKO.