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Aoki vs. Hansen in rubber match for DREAM title

WAMMA lightweight champ Shinya Aoki will take on DREAM lightweight champ Joachim Hansen for the DREAM belt at DREAM.9 on July 20 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

In their first encounter, Aoki (20-4) submitted Hansen (19-7-1) with a gogoplata at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year's Eve 2006. Last year during the finals of the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix, Hansen avenged the loss by stopping Aoki with punches in round one.

This time around, Aoki will battle for the DREAM title without having to compete twice in one night. Aoki went a full two rounds with Caol Uno before fighting Hansen. Hansen was the fresher of the two, requiring only 2 minutes and 33 seconds to submit Kultar "Black Mamba" Gill earlier that night in a reserve bout.

Hansen was scheduled to fight on New Year's Eve but was forced out due to a head injury. He hasn't competed since.

Meanwhile, Aoki won his next three until this month, when he was brutally ground and pounded by Hayato "Mach" Sakurai in his short-lived quest for the welterweight belt.

The winner of Hansen vs. Aoki at DREAM.10 will be booked to defend the title on New Year's Eve against the winner of the DREAM.9 bout between Tatsuya Kawajiri (23-5-2) and Gesias "JZ Calvan" Calvancante (14-2-1).

DREAM.9 FIGHT CARD:

Featherweight GP

  • Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren
  • Masakazu Imanari vs. Bibiano Fernandes
  • Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
  • Hideo Tokoro vs. Abel Cullum

Middleweight Title Bout

  • Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller

#1 Contender Lightweight Bout

  • Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Gesias "JZ Calvan" Calvancante