Nova Uniao Bantamweight Marques to Join Dream Grand Prix

By: Gleidson Venga and Chris Nelson
Jul 27, 2011
Brazilian prospect Rodolfo Marques is set to take his place in Japanese promotion Dream’s upcoming bantamweight world grand prix.

Marques’ trainer, Nova Uniao leader Andre Pederneiras, confirmed to Sherdog.com that the once-beaten 135-pounder finalized his contract with Dream on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old native of Resende, Rio de Janeiro, has compiled a 12-1 record in his five years as a professional. Known for his leg kicks, quick hands and technical ground game, Marques put himself on the radar in April 2010, when a pair of decisions saw him win a one-night Watch Out Combat Show tournament.

Training alongside UFC bantamweights Renan “Barao” and Wagnney Fabiano, Marques holds notable victories over Shooto veteran Matteus Lahdesmaki and fellow Brazilian prospect Marcos Vinicius, whom he outpointed in May. His only loss came in a 2009 decision to current Bellator signee Luis “Betao” Nogueira.

Marques’ participation in the Dream title tournament, which begins at Dream 17, has not yet been announced, though the promotion has officially named four participants for the field.

Hideo Tokoro and Masakazu Imanari, the respective champion and runner-up in Dream’s 2011 Japan bantamweight GP, have secured their spots in the Sept. 24 quarterfinals, as has third-place winner and WEC veteran Kenji Osawa. Additionally, Dream announced Wednesday that former featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will make the drop to seek a new title at 134 pounds.

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