History of DREAM

Industry Mixed martial arts promotion
Founded February 13, 2008
Founder Sadaharu Tanikawa (President of FEG)
Defunct June 3, 2012
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Keiichi Sasahara, Head and Matchmaker
Daisuke Sato, Productions Director
Parent Real Entertainment Co. Ltd.
Website Dreamofficial.com

Dream (styled DREAM in capitals) was a Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) organization promoted by former PRIDE FC executives and K-1 promoter Fighting and Entertainment Group. DREAM replaced FEG's previous-run mixed martial arts fight series, Hero's. The series retained many of the stylistic flourishes and personnel from Pride FC broadcasts, including fight introducer Lenne Hardt. In America, the promotion is aired on HDNet. They promoted over 20 shows highlighting some of the best Japanese and international MMA talent, establishing or enhancing the careers of top ranked fighters such as Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Ronaldo Jacaré, Eddie Alvarez, Jason Miller, Kazushi Sakuraba, Gegard Mousasi and Alistair Overeem.


Pride FC's buyout and Yarennoka!

After the Zuffa buyout of Pride FC, the former Dream Stage Entertainment executives put on a collaborative New Year's Eve mixed martial arts show with Shooto, M-1 Global, and the Fighting and Entertainment Group, called Yarennoka!. This show was intended to be a farewell show of Pride FC. However, due to its success and further petitioning by Japanese MMA fans, the FEG and the former DSE staff decided to combine their efforts and form a new Japanese promotion.

Hero's dissolution and Dream's emergence

Their new promotion was confirmed on February 13, 2008, along with Hero's dissolution. All of Hero's' fighters were confirmed (such as Hero's champions Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Yoshihiro Akiyama and JZ Calvan) to be part of the new promotion along with the additions of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, Shinya Aoki, Kazushi Sakuraba, Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.[1] Another notable announcement was Dream's partnership with M-1 Global, who confirmed that they would allow the last Heavyweight Champion of Pride FC (and the winner of the 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix), Fedor Emelianenko, to fight in their events. Emelianenko was present at the Dream press conference to promote the alliance between the two shows.[2]

Partnership with HDNet

On May 2, 2008, Dream aired for the first time in the United States with a repeat of Dream 1 on HDNet. A repeat of Dream 2 was aired the following day, while Dream 3 was aired live on May 11. All future Dream events will be airing on HDNet as a part of the network's HDNet Fights series.[3]

Partnership with EliteXC

On May 10, 2008, Dream announced the working partnership with US promotion EliteXC. The two groups intended to share fighters and eventually co-promote shows. However, with EliteXC went bankrupt before the alliance could materialize.[4]

Alliance with Strikeforce

On August 5, 2009, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the two promotions had signed a formal alliance. This is reportedly a deal that has been talked about for quite some time, but has finally come to fruition. The result of this deal is that the two organizations will exchange fighters and work together to bring MMA fans the best fights possible. Also, because of Strikeforce's recent agreement with Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global, it is presumable that they would be involved in the alliance as well.[5] In October 2009, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated interest in unifying the titles between the two promotions. However Dream has yet to give a public response. It's likely all unification plans have been dropped due to Zuffa, the parent company of UFC, acquiring Strikeforce.

Alliance with ONE Fighting Championship

November 23, 2011 sources close to ONE Fighting Championship announced a new alliance with DREAM to copromote shows and participate in fighter exchange.[6]

Partnership with ProElite

On January 17, 2012 ProElite announced a partnership with DREAM to copromote shows and exchange fighters.[7]

Cease of business operations

On May 16, 2012, Sadaharu Tanikawa officially declared the bankruptcy of FEG.[8] The promotion began to be managed by its proper parental company Real Entertainment Co. Ltd. and as of June 3, 2012, Dream has effectively gone out of business.[9]

Revival show

A revival show dubbed "Dream.18: Special NYE 2012" was set for December 31, 2012 under the financial backing of kickboxing promotion Glory Sports International. The event promoted mixed martial arts and kickboxing bouts at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, carrying on the tradition of fight events every New Year's Eve for at least one more year.[10]


Weight classes

Dream has 7 weight classes. Unlike Hero's, each weight class will have a champion with a defendable title.[2]

  • 60 kilograms (132 lb) – Bantamweight
  • 65 kilograms (143 lb) – Featherweight
  • 70 kilograms (154 lb) – Lightweight
  • 75 kilograms (165 lb) – Welterweight
  • 85 kilograms (187 lb) – Middleweight
  • 95 kilograms (209 lb) – Light Heavyweight
  • no upper limit – Heavyweight

It was announced that in 2011 Dream will create a new Bantamweight class at 61 kg (134 lb), and the Featherweight class will be raised to 65 kg (143 lb).[11]

Round length

  • There are three 5-minute rounds.


  • Fights will be judged in their entirety by three judges, not on a round-by-round ten-point-must basis (more common to North American promotions).
  • A winner will always be declared, as draws are not possible.


Dream allows fighters latitude in their choice of attire but open finger gloves, a mouthguard and a protective cup are mandatory. Fighters are allowed to use tape on parts of their body or to wear a gi top, gi pants, wrestling shoes, kneepads, elbow pads, or ankle supports at their own discretion, though each must be checked by the referee before the fight.

Fouls and violations

  • Stomps and soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent are not allowed (unless both fighters are on the ground), but they are allowed to the rest of the body.
  • Elbows to the head are prohibited.
  • If there is a 15 kilograms (33 lb) or more weight difference between the fighters, knees to the head of a grounded opponent are not allowed.
  • A grounded opponent is defined as one in a three-point position. If a fighter has, for example, both knees and one hand on the floor facing the mat, then no kicks to the head are allowed.
  • Strikes to the back of the head are not allowed

Tournament substitutions

  • In case of a "No Contest" or injury, the fighter who can continue will go through to the next round, if neither fighter is able to continue the promoter will choose a replacement fighter to go through.


Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses
Heavyweight no upper limit Netherlands Alistair Overeem December 31, 2010 (Dynamite!! 2010)
Light Heavyweight 95 kg (209 lb) Netherlands Gegard Mousasi September 25, 2010 (Dream 16) 1
Middleweight 85 kg (187 lb) Netherlands Gegard Mousasi September 23, 2008 (Dream 6)
Welterweight 75 kg (165 lb) Lithuania Marius Zaromskis July 20, 2009 (Dream 10) 1
Lightweight 70 kg (154 lb) Japan Shinya Aoki October 6, 2009 (Dream 11) 2
Featherweight 65 kg (143 lb) Japan Hiroyuki Takaya December 31, 2010 (Dynamite!! 2010) 2
Bantamweight 60 kg (132 lb) Brazil Bibiano Fernandes December 31, 2011 (Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoko 2011) 0

Tournament Finalists

Year Weight Division Champion Finalist
2008 Lightweight Norway Joachim Hansen Japan Shinya Aoki
2008 Middleweight Netherlands Gegard Mousasi Brazil Ronaldo Souza
2009 Welterweight Lithuania Marius Zaromskis United States Jason High
2009 Featherweight Brazil Bibiano Fernandes Japan Hiroyuki Takaya
2009 Superhulk Japan Ikuhisa Minowa Cameroon Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
2010 Light Heavyweight Netherlands Gegard Mousasi Japan Tatsuya Mizuno
2011 JP Bantamweight Japan Hideo Tokoro Japan Masakazu Imanari
2011 Bantamweight Brazil Bibiano Fernandes United States Antonio Banuelos



# Event Title Date Arena Location Attendees Broadcast
24 Dream 18[13] 000000002012-12-31-0000December 31, 2012 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan SkyPerfect
23 Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoko 2011 000000002011-12-31-0000December 31, 2011 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 24,606 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
22 Dream 17 000000002011-09-24-0000September 24, 2011 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 9,270 HDNet
21 Dream: Japan GP Final 000000002011-07-16-0000July 16, 2011 Ariake Coliseum Tokyo, Japan 8,142 HDNet
20 Dream: Fight for Japan! 000000002011-05-29-0000May 29, 2011 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 6,522 HDNet
19 Dynamite!! 2010 000000002010-12-31-0000December 31, 2010 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 26,729 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
18 Dream 16 000000002010-09-25-0000September 25, 2010 Nippon Gaishi Hall Nagoya, Aichi, Japan 9,304 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
17 Dream 15 000000002010-07-10-0000Jul 10, 2010 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 13,028 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
16 Dream 14 000000002010-05-29-0000May 29, 2010 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 12,712 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
15 Dream 13 000000002010-03-22-0000March 22, 2010 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 13,712 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
14 Fields Dynamite!! The Power of Courage 2009 000000002009-12-31-0000December 31, 2009 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 45,606 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
13 Dream 12: Cage of Dreams 000000002009-10-25-0000October 25, 2009 Osaka-jo Hall Osaka, Osaka, Japan 10,112 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
12 Dream 11: Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 Final Round 000000002009-10-06-0000October 6, 2009 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 14,039[14] Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
11 Dream 10: Welterweight Grand Prix 2009 Final Round 000000002009-07-20-0000July 20, 2009 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Saitama Super Arena 11,970[15] Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
10 Dream 9: Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 Second Round 000000002009-05-26-0000May 26, 2009 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 15,009 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
9 Dream 8: Welterweight Grand Prix 2009 First Round 000000002009-04-05-0000April 5, 2009 Nippon Gaishi Hall Nagoya, Aichi, Japan 9,129 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
8 Dream 7: Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 First Round 000000002009-03-08-0000March 8, 2009 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 19,528[16] Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
7 Fields Dynamite!! 2008 000000002008-12-31-0000December 31, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 25,634 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet
6 Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round 000000002008-09-23-0000September 23, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 20,929 SkyPerfect; HDNet
5 Dream 5: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round 000000002008-07-21-0000July 21, 2008 Osaka-jo Hall Osaka, Osaka, Japan 11,986 SkyPerfect; HDNet
4 Dream 4: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round 000000002008-06-15-0000June 15, 2008 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 14,037 SkyPerfect; HDNet
3 Dream 3: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round 000000002008-05-11-0000May 11, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 21,789 SkyPerfect; HDNet
2 Dream 2: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round 000000002008-04-29-0000April 29, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 21,397 SkyPerfect; HDNet
1 Dream 1: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round 000000002008-03-15-0000March 15, 2008 Saitama Super Arena Saitama, Saitama, Japan 19,120 Tokyo Broadcasting System; HDNet

Event locations

  • Total event number: 24

These cities have hosted the following numbers of Dream events as of Dream 18:

Saitama – 15
Yokohama – 4
Nagoya – 2
Osaka – 2
Tokyo - 1


  1. ^ "K-1's new Dream includes Cro Cop". Mma Weekly. February 13, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Loiseleur, Tony (February 13, 2008). "'Dream' Come True?". Sherdog.com. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Mark Cuban's HDNET to air Japan's Dream". Mma Weekly. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ "PRO ELITE & Dream ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP". MMAWeekly. 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008. 
  5. ^ "STRIKEFORCE AND DREAM FORMALIZING "ALLIANCE"". MMAWeekly. 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  6. ^ "DREAM, ONE FC Announce Deal to Co-Promote Events, Exchange Talent". mmafighting.com. November 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ "ProElite to Partner With DREAM". mmafighting.com. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ FEG's bankruptcy, May 17, 2012, Muay Thai TV
  9. ^ "The Dream is Gone; Japanese MMA Promotion Runs Out of Viable Options". mmaweekly.com. June 3, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ Gross, Josh (October 25, 2012). "GSI fight card set for Dec. 31 in Japan". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ Loiseleur, Tony (2011-04-20). "‘Dream: Fight For Japan’ Bantamweight Tournament Bracket Set". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  12. ^ "新格闘技イベント「Dream」誕生!ミルコの参戦も決定3.15さいたまで旗揚げ、総勢23選手が会見に出席". Sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp. 2008-02-14. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  13. ^ "'GLORY teams up with DREAM to stage 'DREAM 18 - Special NYE 2012'". GLORYWorldSeries.com. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  14. ^ Tony Loiseleur. "Aoki Subs Hansen; Fernandes Wins Dream GP". 
  15. ^ Dream Run: Zaromskis Wins Grand Prix
  16. ^ DiPietro, Monty (March 8, 2009). "HELLO JAPAN! SHINYA AOKI WINS AT Dream 7". MMAWeekly.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_MMA
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