Dream 18 Weigh-Ins: Despite Early Misses, All Fighters on Point for New Year’s Eve


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TOKYO -- All 16 MMA fighters participating in Monday night’s Dream 18 and Glory 4 ”Special NYE 2012” made weight on Sunday afternoon, though Will Brooks and Denis Kang needed several attempts to do so.

Brooks came in at 157 pounds on his first trip to the scale, missing the mark by 2.6 pounds for his scheduled lightweight bout with former Dream title challenger Satoru Kitaoka. The American was given two additional hours to make weight and came in heavy again, though no specific numbers were disclosed. Brooks received a third chance to hit his mark and finally cleared the bar, weighing in at 154.3 pounds.

Pride and UFC veteran Denis Kang also needed extra time to clear the weight limit for his middleweight bout with Dutch slugger Melvin Manhoef, weighing in 1.3 over on his first attempt. This apparently angered Manhoef, who decided he couldn’t wait another day and tried to brawl with Kang on the scales. Despite the setback, Kang hit the target weight after two additional hours, coming in at 185.1 pounds.

Despite the two weight misses, the remainder of the night’s fighters made weight without any hiccups.

The MMA-Kickboxing double feature marks the return of major league martial arts to Japan, after a year of absence and rumors of Dream’s demise. Main-evented by a featherweight fight pitting Japanese legend Tatsuya Kawajiri against UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa, the MMA portion of the event features a cast of mostly familiar faces to the Japanese fight scene.

A former top-tier lightweight in Pride and Shooto, Kawajiri voiced his excitement to be back in the Japanese ring.

“This is my first fight in Japan in a long time, so I’d like to show everyone who the best in Japanese MMA is, pound-for-pound,” he said.

“I feel like I’m going to explode, so I’m going to light the fuse inside me and explode inside the ring tomorrow,” said Omigawa, displaying his usual manic energy.

The event also features some of Dream’s title-holders in non-championship bouts, as featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya takes on Tachi Palace champ Georgi Karakhanyan, and bantamweight belt-holder Bibiano Fernandes faces Deep champion Yoshiro Maeda. Dream lightweight kingpin Shinya Aoki also makes an appearance Monday night, facing off with UFC vet Antonio McKee.

Dream 18 Weigh-In Results

Tatsuya Kawajiri (143.3) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (142.85)
Hiroyuki Takaya (143.3) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (143.3)
Shinya Aoki (154.3) vs. Antonio McKee (153.2)
Bibiano Fernandes (138.5) vs. Yoshiro Maeda (137)
Melvin Manhoef (184.3) vs. Denis Kang (185.1)
Hayato Sakurai (168.6) vs. Phil Baroni (167.5)
Marloes Coenen (145.5) vs. Fiona Muxlow (144.8)
Satoru Kitaoka (154.3) vs. Will Brooks (154.3)

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