DREAM 18 New Year's Eve show gets Aoki vs. McKee, Fernandes vs. Maeda, Manhoef vs. Kang


Japan's annual New Year's Eve combat sports spectacular added three MMA fights to its docket of action with official confirmation from DREAM and Golden Glory officials on Friday.

The show, with the messy title of "GSI presents DREAM 18 and GLORY 4 Tokyo - New Year's Eve Special," will take place from the Saitama Super Arena.

The trio of fights include DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki against veteran Antonio McKee, ONE FC star Bibiano Fernandes vs. Yoshiro Maeda, and noted striker Melvin Manhoef battling Denis Kang.

The Aoki-McKee fight was actually supposed to take place in the spring of 2011 before it fell apart. Aoki (31-6, 1 no contest) has won eight of his last nine, most recently defeating Arnaud Lepont via triangle submission. The 42-year-old McKee (28-4-2) has won three straight, topping Chad Dietmeyer on the judges scorecards in March.

Fernandes (12-3) made headlines earlier in 2012 when he spurned a UFC offer to sign with ONE FC. He's currently riding a four-fight win streak after defeating Gustavo Falciroli in his ONE FC debut. The promotion is loaning him out to DREAM as part of a recently announced partnership.

His opponent Maeda, a WEC and DREAM veteran, is 30-11-2 all-time, and comes in with a two-fight win streak.

Manhoef is currently enjoying his first multi-fight win streak since 2008 after defeating Jae Young Kim and Ryo Kawamura in back-to-back fights to improve to 26-9-1 while Kang recently snapped a three-fight losing streak with a knockout of Hae Suk Son.

The DREAM/GLORY show will also include a one-night, 16-man single elimination kickboxing tournament which will feature some of the sport's biggest names including Semmy Schilt,, Remy Bonjasky, Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and former Strikeforce fighter Sergei Kharitonov. The winner will earn a $400,000 prize.

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