For those of you giving Tito Ortiz props for stepping up on 24 days notice to headline UFC 133 opposite Rashad Evans, well Eiji Ishikawa just one-upped “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” by 22 days. The veteran has agreed to replace injured Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in his non-title bout against Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis this Saturday at “Dream: Grand Prix Final.”
“I landed and they first told me there would be an opponent change,” Zaromskis told MMAFighting. “I was surprised, but [there’s] nothing I can do. Change is change – I came here to Japan to fight. If [Sakurai cannot fight], I’ll fight another person.
“I’m not really disappointed. If I had no [opponent], then I’d be disappointed. But I have an opponent so at least I can fight.”
Light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi puts his strap on the line against Hiroshi Izumi in the card’s featured contest, while Kazuyuki Miyata will challenge featherweight title holder Hiroyuki Takaya for his belt in the night’s other championship affair.
Dream’s eight-man bantamweight tournament will also conclude at the event.
The event takes place inside the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan. The show will not be televised live in North America and no announcement regarding a tape-delay replay has been made.
Here is the card’s revised roster:
Atsushi Yamamoto vs. Kenji Osawa (Third Place)
Masakazu Imanari vs. Hideo Tokoro (Finals)
Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Bruno Carvalho
Tatsuya Mizuno vs. Trevor Prangley
Drew Fickett vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Eiji Ishikawa vs. Marius Zaromskis (Dream Welterweight Champion)*
Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (Dream Featherweight Champion)
Hiroshi Izumi vs. Gegard Mousasi (Dream Light Heavyweight Champion)
* – Non-title fight