2009 is the Year of the Featherweight

There's something we're not talking NEARLY enough about here...

There are THREE major featherweight tournaments slated for early spring 2009.

- DREAM Grand Prix            15 or 16 men, 8 Japanese/8 foreign, 63KG (138.6lb), starts in March (HDNet)

- Sengoku Tournament      16 men, 65KG (143lb), starts in March (HDNet)

- Bellator Tournament          8 man, 145lbs, starts in April 3rd (ESPN Deportes, may move to ESPN or ESPN2)

There's also tons of great fights slated for the WEC's 145 lb division.

Get ready for the biggest year of featherweight MMA in the sport's history!

The Following is a breakdown of the tournament fields:


1.  Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (1st Round Bye)

2.  Masakazu Imanari

"Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura

4.  Yoshiro Maeda

5.  Atsushi Yamamoto

6.  Takafumi Otsuka

7.  Hideo Tokoro

Hiroyuki Takaya

9.  DJ Taiki Hata

10.  Kim Jong Won

11.  Bibiano Fernandes

12.  Chase Beebe

13.  Joe Warren

14.  Abel Cullum

Micah Miller

Dream 7:  March 8, 2009

Masakazu Imanari vs. Atsushi Yamamoto:  Imanari by decision

Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Kim Jong Won:  Takaya by TKO

Chase Beebe vs. Joe Warren:  Warren by TKO

Akiyo Nishiura vs. Abel Cullum:  Cullum by decision

Micah Miller vs. Yoshiro Maeda:  Maeda by decision

Takafumi Otsuka vs. Bibiano Fernandes:  Fernandes by decision

Dream 8:  April 5, 2009

Hideo Tokoro vs. DJ Taiki Hata:  Hata by decision, Tokoro replaces Hata who is unable to continue.


Kim Jong Man

2.  Shintaro Ishiwatari

3.  Hideki Kadowaki

4.  LC Davis

5.  Michihiro Omigawa

6.  Hatsu Hioki

7.  Seiya Kawahara

Masanori Kanehara

9.  Tetsuya Yamada

10.  Chang Son Jon

11.  Chris Manuel

12.  Nick Denis

Marlon Sandro

14.  Ronnie Mann

15.  Nam Phan

16   Matt Jaggers

Sengoku 7:  March 20

Marlon Sandro vs. Matt Jaggers:  Sandro by submission

Nam Phan vs. Hideki Kadowaki:  Phan by KO

Michihiro Omigawa vs. L.C. Davis:  Omigawa by decision

Kim Jong Man vs. Masanori Kanehara:  Kanehara by decision

Ronnie Ushiwaka vs. Tetsuya Yamada:  Mann by decision

Hatsu Hioki vs. Chris Manuel:  Hioki by submission

Seiya Kawahara vs. Nick Denis:  Denis by TKO

Chan Sung Jung vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari:  Jung by submission


1.  Wilson Reis

2.  Ben Greer

3.  Sami Aziz

4.  Joe Soto

5.  Nick Gonzalez

Yahir Reyes

7.  Estevan Payan

8.  Luis Palomino

Bellator 1:  April 3, 2009

Luis Palomino vs. Estevan Paya

Been Greer vs. Joe Soto

Nick Gonzalez vs. Yahir Reyes

WEC Updates

1.  Jens Pulver vs. Urijah Faber, Jan 25 (Faber wins by Submission)

2.  Mike Thomas Brown vs. Leonard Garcia, WEC FW Championship, Mar 1 (Brown wins by Submission)

3.  Fredson Paixao vs. Wagnney Fabiano, April 5

4.  WEC Signs Rafael Assuncao

Available FWs:   Yuji Hoshino, Renan Barao, Antonio Duarte, Din Thomas, Diego Saraiva, Takeshi Yamazaki, Junya Kudo, Emmanuel Fernandez, Antonio "Pato" Carvalho, Naoya Uematsu, Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Yoshihiro Maeda, Tenkei Fujimiya, Rumina Sato, LC Davis, Eduardo "Dudu" Dantas, "Lion" Takeshi Inoue, LC Davis, Un Sik Song, Jean Silva, Toshiaki Kitada, Bao Quach, Thierry Quenneville, Mark Hominick, Albert Rios, Stephen Ledbetter, Miki Shida, Tommy Lee, Savant Young, Mike Joy, Enoch Wilson, Robbie Olivier, Brad Pickett, Jorge Evangelista, Javier Vasquez, Matt Fiordirosa, Jared McMahan, Joe Pearson, Luciano Azevedo, Erikas Patraitis,  Alex Owen


 Its like you are reading my mind. I hope Brad Pickett shows up in the DREAM or Sengoku tourney, he is one of the more underrated boxers in the division, and the sport in general

 unfortunately, we have to mention the obvious downside....any one or multiple of these can get cancelled....but let's hope they all go off, so we can argue over FW rankings for months and months.

Seriously though, if these 3 all go off, the FW division will be more talked about and publicized than EVER before

 is Kid gonna fight in the Dream one for sure?  Is he one of the names confirmed?

also it would be really sweet to see Brown, Faber, and Garcia in that GP.

too bad so many top fw's are in WEC. still gonna be entertainig though.

IrishLew -  is Kid gonna fight in the Dream one for sure?  Is he one of the names confirmed?

also it would be really sweet to see Brown, Faber, and Garcia in that GP.

 I would treat all names as unconfirmed.  Though its hard to imagine Kid NOT being in it.  I agree with your point, but I doubt you will see any WEC fighters in any of these. 

Oh man I love the lighter weight fighters. If Kid actually fights in the DREAM tourney he'd be the definate favorite despite his layoff and injuries. However, I have a tough time seeing him as champ unless he gets favorable matchups. There are some hungry and talented fighters in that DREAM tourney. I'd be surprised if Sengoku could even manage such a tourney, especially with anything resembling your list. I only know of 3 fighters on that Bellator list, but I'm still pretty excited for that card.

Edit: Btw, pato mentioned on another forum that he doesn't really want to fight in Japan again unless the price is right. I've been hearing stuff about quite a few of the other fighters that would likely exclude them as a possibility. I guess we can still dream.

 ^  Yes, I'm sure several of these guys won't be in any of the tourneys for various reasons, these are kind of a "best case" I guess using non-WEC fighters. 

It would be a shame if Pato didn't do ONE of the 3 tournaments, he's a fixture at the weight and they are finally getting exposure.  I'm sure the price will be as right as it ever gets at FW, FEG is always good to fighters, and Bellator is rumored to be paying well.

TTT for the lighter guys.. This is great news, plus WEC adding flyweights as well..Wow

ttt for ZUFFA allowing some or any of the WEC Fighters in the DREAM Tournament that would be way cool..

 The Bellator tournament is an 8 man deal without fighting twice in a night, and the winner gets 175k in purse money total. I have a feeling we'll see another name or two in addition to Reis, that some serious dough for 145lbs

smoogy -  The Bellator tournament is an 8 man deal without fighting twice in a night, and the winner gets 175k in purse money total. I have a feeling we'll see another name or two in addition to Reis, that some serious dough for 145lbs

 Given that they have a Latin focus, I would to see Brazilians prospects in there.  If Sandro doesn't fight in one of the Japanese tournaments he would be great, but there are some other names like Barao.

If Pato doesn't want to fight in Japan as someone mentioned, that kind of purse money I'm sure could sway him stateside.

Some of the best news coming of this whole situation is that if all tournaments go as planned, we're looking at 40 (PLUS Alternates) featherweights NOT under WEC contract getting multiple fights in major orgs.

For the first time in MMA HISTORY, top featherweights will actual have some bargaining power.  Some fighters who have spent YEARS looking for a fight, may find themselves as the subject of a bidding war.  Top featherweights across the world should be able to get a good payday, and we the fans should get 3 incredible tournaments.


 No one cares?  Don't some of you at least want to call me an idiot for my mock tournament fields?

ttt.  The Neil Grove vs. Justin McCully thread has gotten more responses.

 edited, I forgot about Rafael Dias. 

 I think Dreamfighters took your lists, mixed them up a bit, and made a news post out of it.

LOL....really?  I hope not....its complete wild speculation on my part.