Dream 4 – Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Card

Melvin Manhoef

Some very interesting matchups will take place at Dream 4 – Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 2nd Round; the event will take place on June 15 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.  Here’s the card:

  • Kazushi Sakuraba (24-10-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (21-4-1):

Manhoef is that rare combination of raw power, athleticism and technical striking.  He also has a decent takedown defense; submission-wise, he needs some work although his submission defense is very good.  Sakuraba, on the other hand, has good technical striking skills and decent power.  As far as submissions, takedowns and takedown defense, he is still considered one of the best; however, his cardio isn’t nearly what it once was as it has been rumored that during his career he was the party animal.  His endurance may be his undoing against Manhoef.

Prediction – Manhoef, KO, early 2nd round

  • Jason “Mayhem” Miller (21-5) vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (8-1):

Miller is a very well-rounded fighter (solid technical striking, good power on his feet and very good submissions) yet you cannot discount Souza.  Souza’s calling card is his submissions; in addition, he has very good takedowns, takedown defense and decent ground control skills.  Look for Miller to keep the fight upright while Souza will use every opportunity to bring the fight to the ground.  This should be a case of Miller’s striking trumping Souza’s ground game.

Prediction – Miller, unanimous decision

  • Gegard Mousasi (21-2-1) vs. Dong-Sik Yoon (4-4):

Mousasi possesses some excellent striking skills with heavy hands; his submission and ground game are slowly improving.  On the flip side, Yoon is one tough cookie – meaning that because of his judo discipline, he has outstanding takedowns and takedown defense; also, his striking skills have improved dramatically.  Definitely not a pushover by any stretch.  Unfortunately for Yoon, Mousasi’s skill set will overcome anything Yoon brings to the fight.

Prediction – Mousasi, TKO, early 3rd round

  • Zelg Galesic (8-3) vs. Taiei Kin (3-2):

Galesic is a heavy hitter; he also has strong takedowns and takedown defense while his submissions are improving.  Meanwhile, Kin is a good wrestler and is improving with his submissions and stand-up game.  This should be one of the quicker fights of the night.

Prediction – Galesic, KO, late 1st round

  • Shinya Aoki (15-2) vs. Katsuhiko Nagata (4-2):

Nagata’s skill set is limited to good wrestling technique; Aoki, on the other hand, is a submission specialist.  Usually, submissions trump wrestling more often than not.

Prediction – Aoki, submission, late 1st round

  • Hideo Tokoro (19-13-1) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (4-1):

Intriguing matchup here.  Uyenoyama, while possessing decent submission skills, is rather new to the MMA game; Tokoro, on the other hand, has above-average submission skills and some decent takedown defense.  The toughest fight to call of the night.

Prediction – Uyenoyama, split decision

  • Alistair Overeem (26-11) vs. Tae Hyun Lee (1-1):

Lee has decent wrestling skills, but Overeem has heavy hands, plus the experience factor.  A no-brainer.

Prediction – Overeem, KO, mid-1st round

  • Alavutdin Gadzhiev vs. Ralek Gracie (1-0):

Gadzhiev’s heavy hands against the Gracie pedigree (Brazilian ju jitsu skills aplenty) yet too close to call.  I like the Gracie skill set against Gadzhiev’s striking in this one.

Prediction – Gracie, split decision

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