View Full Version : Ishida vs. Nakamura, Aoki vs. Gardner set for DREAM.7


jakkups
02-20-2009, 01:28 PM
Ishida vs. Nakamura, Aoki vs. Gardner set for DREAM.7 (http://mmajunkie.com/news/14060/ishida-vs-nakamura-aoki-vs-gardner-set-for-dream-7.mma)

While much of the focus of DREAM.7 will center on the first round of the organization's featherweight grand prix, two solid non-tournament bouts have been added to the March 8 card.

Just a month before he's set to compete in DREAM's upcoming welterweight grand prix, Shinya Aoki (19-3) will fight David Gardner (16-10). Additionally, Mitsuhiro Ishida (17-4-1) meets Daisuke Nakamura (19-9).

DREAM.7 takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and airs live on HDNet.

The Aoki vs. Gardner booking is a peculiar one.

Up until just a few days ago, UFC and WEC veteran John Alessio told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he was close to signing, and expected to sign, for the fight with Aoki.

Instead, Aoki, who recently won the WAMMA world lightweight title with a New Year's Eve win over Eddie Alvarez, meets Gardner, a seven-year veteran who's previously defeated the likes of Rich Clementi, Ryan Schultz and, most recently, WEC veteran Kenneth Alexander.

Health permitting Aoki will then compete at DREAM.8, which takes place April 5. The event features the opening round of the organization's welterweight grand prix, in which Aoki would be an odds-on favorite.

Ishida, meanwhile, looks to build off a September victory in his Strikeforce debut over Justin Wilcox when he meets fellow PRIDE veteran Nakamura, who's riding an eight-fight win streak.

Ishida is still being considered for a potential April 11 fight with Gilbert Melendez (and possibly Strikeforce world lightweight champion Josh Thomson), but with just a month between the two events, his potential Strikeforce participation is far from a guarantee.