Dream 14 Light Heavyweight Tournament Nixed

By: Tony Loiseleur
Apr 29, 2010
TOYKO -- Dream’s planned light heavyweight grand prix has been cancelled, Sherdog.com has confirmed. The proposed eight-man, 205-pound tournament was scheduled to begin at Dream 14 on May 29 at the Saitama Super Arena.

Josh Gross of SI.com reported the news first on Twitter.

Multiple sources claimed to Sherdog.com that the decision was made to cancel the tournament as far back as three weeks ago. However, one manager whose fighter had already been earmarked for the multi-night tournament said Dream notified him of the cancellation on Tuesday.

According to the manager, the reason for the cancellation stemmed from disinterest by Dream’s domestic television carrier, the Tokyo Broadcasting System, in broadcasting the tournament.

Representatives of Dream parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group would not confirm or deny the cancellation and said an official comment would likely come in the days following the Golden Week national holidays in Japan, beginning with April 29’s “Showa Day” and ending with May 5’s “Children’s Day.”

UFC and Affliction veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and former Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, Deep light heavyweight tournament winner Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, UFC and Pride veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Christian M’Pumbu were all mentioned as participants in the grand prix, though none were officially announced by the promotion.

Rumors of the tournament’s cancellation abounded before Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara announced on April 27 that its next event would be held in a cage. During the same Internet press conference, Sasahara addressed fan questions regarding how the cage would affect the tournament, vaguely stating that with the cage’s introduction, the tournament would need to be reevaluated.

This is not the first setback for Dream’s second effort in the 2010 calendar year, nor is it their first run-in with broadcast difficulties. Originally set to take place on April 24 in South Korea, Dream 14 was rescheduled due to a lack of a Korean star power, making a television deal in Korea difficult to secure.

With approximately one month remaining, Dream must now fill up what is currently only a four-fight card.

Dream 14
May 29, 2010
Saitama Super Arena
Saitama, Japan

Hayato Sakurai vs. Nick Diaz
Joachim Hansen vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
Hideo Tokoro vs. Akiyo Nishiura
Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Takafumi Otsuka

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