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Shinya Aoki vs. Rob McCullough, Satoru Kitaoka vs. Willamy Freire set for DREAM 17

DREAM has added two bouts to their upcoming late September event in Japan. The most popular fighter in the organization and one of the best submission grapplers in the world, Shinya Aoki battles striking stand out Rob McCullough in a lightweight showdown. Also added is another lightweight bout between Satoru Kitaoka and Willamy Freire.

News of the fights was first reported by

One of the top lightweights in the world for many years, Aoki is currently on a five fight win streak. “The Baka Survivor” is known for his excellent grappling game, with 18 of his career 28 victories coming by way of submission. During his five fight win streak, Aoki has submitted four of his opponents including wrestler Lyle Beerbohm, striker Tatsuya Kawajiri, and grappler Rich Clementi. Although the man with the rainbow pants is the current DREAM lightweight champion, his title will not be on the line in this fight.

“Razor” Rob is a muay thai veteran who has been competing in MMA since 2001. A former WEC lightweight champion, McCullough is looking for one last big run in his career. 4-4 in his last eight fights, he’s coming off a devastating TKO loss to Patricky Freire in the first round of Bellator‘s most recent lightweight tournament. This fight will be McCullough’s first pro MMA fight outside of the US in his career.

At the age of 31, Kitaoka has already competed in 46 professional bouts and holds victories over the likes of Takanori Gomi, Paul Daley, and Carlos Condit. His opponent, Freire, had won 11 straight fights before losing a unanimous decision to Waylon Lowe at UFC Fight for the Troops 2 this past January.

DREAM.17 is scheduled for September 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Along with these two lightweight bouts, a featherweight bout between Takeshi Inoue and Caol Uno is on the card. No word yet if the event will be broadcasted live in the United States.


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