Tournament slated for Japan in May
Japan's first major mixed martial arts card of 2011 will take place on May 29 in Saitama.
Promoters for Dream, flanked by representatives of the crestfallen country's major combat sports organizations, heralded the return of MMA to Saitama Super Arena as part of an eight-fighter bantamweight tournament.
The Dream Japan Grand Prix serves as a prelude to the company's World Grand Prix, which is scheduled to begin in September.
The top three fighters that emerge from the all-Japan field will advance to the higher-profile event. Tournament brackets feature Masakazu Imanari vs. Keisuke Fujiwara; Kenji Osawa vs. Takafumi Otsuka; Darren Uyenoyama vs. Atsushi Yamamoto; and Hideo Tokoro vs. Yoshiro Maeda.
During Friday's press conference at The Parliamentary Museum in Tokyo, officials also unveiled the "Fight For Japan" project, an initiative aimed at raising funds for areas impacted by the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that devastated portions of the country on March 11. The catastrophe has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people.
"Fight For Japan" will raise funds via the sale of t-shirts, towels and other items through the United Nations agency for human settlements.
Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.
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