Mousasi Bursts Into MMA Stardom With DREAM Welterweight Tournament Win

By Ross Everett

Gegard Mousasi looked to be on his way to a submission loss to DREAM’s self styled gator, Ronaldo Jacare, midway through the first round of their middleweight GP final match. Jacare had been successful keeping the fight on the ground, though Mousasi was able to fend off a submission. Jacare then made a fateful decision. After that he, never knew what hit him and by the time he regained consciousness Mousasi had his hand raised as the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix champion.

Jacare tried a Superman punch over the upkicks of the lanky Mousasi, who after missing with the first nailed his second kick perfectly and left the Brazilian knocked out cold. It was the Dutch fighters 2nd upset victory of the night, as he had submitted powerful Melvin Manhouf in the semifinal with a nasty triangle choke. Manhouf used his power to pick Mousasi up and tried to slam him down, but instead of breaking the hold it only enabled his opponent to cinch it in deeper necessitating the tapout.

Jacare looked awesome in quickly dispatching of tough Zelig Galesic quickly with a slick armbar. It appeared that he was well on the way to the championship before a tactical error”and a well placed kick”changed the course of the fight.

In the co-main event, a long awaited matchup between Mirko Cro Cop and Alistair Overeem ended in a no contest after the Croatian striking machine was unable to continue following two low knee strikes. Cro Cop took a few minutes to recover from the first but was unable to continue after the second, with his corner indicating that the fighter had suffered some unspecified injury to the groin area.

Earlier in the evening, Shinya Aoki had no trouble with tough WEC veteran Todd Moore. Moore tried to mount a striking attack early in the bout, only to have the wily Aoki take his back and lock in a standing rear naked choke. Moore instinctively went to the corner in an effort to extricate himself, only to fall into Aokis trap”as Moore sat down Aoki transitioned into a neck crank. Moore had no leverage from his seated position and had no alternative but to submit to arguably the best submission artist in the sport.

In addition to the in-ring action, a highlight of the event was the appearance of the best heavyweight in the world, Fedor Emelianenko. The Russian fighting god addressed the crowd and indicated that hed be fighting in Tokyo on New Years Eve without giving any specifics regarding his opponent. There had been some indication that hed meet the winner of the Cro Cop/Overeem bout but the no contest result puts that plan into serious doubt. Later in the evening in a uniquely Japanese moment, he presented a bouquet of flowers to each fighters cornermen before the Cro Cop/Overeem ring introductions.

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