A rematch between Shinya Aoki and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai has been officially announced for the opening round of DREAM’s welterweight tournament at DREAM.8 on April 5th at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan.
Aoki (20-3), who lost to Sakurai via unanimous decision in his fifth professional bout in 2005, will move up from featherweight for the matchup. Aoki advanced to the finals of DREAM’s lightweight grand prix last year, losing to Joachim Hansen in the championship bout. More recently, Aoki submitted Eddie Alvarez at Dynamite!! 2008 to win the WAMMA lightweight title then defeated David Gardner in a welterweight match at the opening round of DREAM’s featherweight tournament earlier this month.
Sakurai (33-8-2) has won seven of his past eight fights dating back to late-2005, most-recently defeating Kuniyoshi Hironaka at DREAM 6 and Katsuyori Shibata at Dynamite!! 2008.