He started with winning the title bout over his nemesis, Tatsuya Kawajiri. Aoki shot in off the bell, and quickly grabbed Kawajiri's leg. He turned it into a heel hook, wrenching Kawajiri's leg. Kawajiri held out for as long as he could, but tapped at 1:53 in the first round, giving Aoki the win.
Kawajiri may have paid dearly for holding out on the tap. It took him a long time to stand up, and he then had to be carried out of the ring.
While Kawajiri recovered, Aoki celebrated. He jumped on top of the ropes and then grabbed the microphone. He told the crowd that he was getting married to the woman who has supported him through his MMA career.
Then, he announced his next piece of business: a rematch with Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez. According to Aoki, the two will face off at DREAM.16 in September, but Strikeforce and Melendez have not confirmed this. Melendez easily beat Aoki at their Strikeforce bout in April.
Gesais "J.Z." Cavalcante rolls to win
As was the pattern at DREAM.15, the fighter with the better ground skills won as J.Z. Cavalcante won a split decision over Katsunori Kikuno.
Though Kikuno was able to show a few flashy moves, including some brilliant kicks and a flying knee, Cavalcante won with takedowns and strong grappling. He caught Kikuno in a rear naked choke in the second round, and though he couldn't finish the submission, he held onto Kikuno for much of the second round.
- Shinya Aoki
- Tatsuya Kawajiri
- Gilbert Melendez