(Kawajiri lost the fight and the use of his left leg. Photo by Susumu Nagao.)
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Two big shows went down this weekend on the other side of the earth. Dream.15 was cobbled together at the last minute but featured a lightweight title fight. In Brisbane, Australia, veteran promoter Tom Huggins launched his new organization, Impact FC, where four high-profile fighters took to the cage.
After suffering a lopsided decision loss to Gilbert Melendez, Shinya Aoki returned to Japan to defend his Dream Lightweight Championship against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Expected to be a barnburner, the fight was finished quickly as Aoki secured an Achilles lock inside of two minutes and returned to the top five in our Lightweight Rankings, moving from #7 to #3, while Kawajiri fell hard from #7 to #21.
In another lightweight scrap with top-25 implications, Gesias Calvancante moves from #29 to #18 with a split decision win over Kikuno Katsunori, who slides from #29 to #32.
Former Strikeforce Champion Gegard Mousasi held on to his #7 Light Heavyweight Ranking with a quick submission win over UFC veteran Jake O’Brien, who held on to his #33 spot.
Michihiro Omigawa held fast to #3 in our Featherweight Rankings with a win over unranked Young Sam Jung, and Daiki Hata hangs tight to #43 at 145 with a loss to Mitsuhiro Ishida, who dropped one spot, from #53 to #54, in our Lightweight Rankings following the split-decision win.
Two middleweight bouts were contested at Dream.15 which each featured an unranked fighter facing a ranked competitor. In the first bout, Kazuhiro Nakamura climbed from #55 to #48 in our Middleweight Rankings with his win over unranked Karl Amoussou. In the second bout, Melvin Manhoef continued his slide, dropping from #34 to #58 with a loss to unranked Tatsuya Mizuno.
In Brisbane, five UFC veterans took to the Impact FC cage and all but one emerged victorious. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett and former UFC heavyweight title challenger Jeff Monson held on to their spots – #6 and #16, respectively – in our Heavyweight Rankings with wins over unranked opponents. Rameau Thierry Sokodjou moves up to #23 in our Light Heavyweight Rankings with his win, and troubled welterweight Karo Parysian re-entered the top 25 with his win, coming in at #24 in our Welterweight Rankings. Former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton’s fall continues with a loss to Brian Ebersole. Newton drops to #88 in our Middleweight Rankings while Ebersole enters our 170-pound poll at #61.