Aoki (31-6) is on an 8-1 run. The Japanese submission specialist returns to DREAM as a result of the promotion’s recent partnership with ONE FC, where he recently made his debut by putting Arnaud LePont to bed with a triangle choke in the opening stanza. “Tobikan Judan’s” most recent run has seen him take victories over UFC veterans Rich Clementi and Marcus Aurelio, former WEC champ Rob McCullough, Lyle Beerbohm, and Japanese legend Tatsuya Kawajiri.
McKee (28-4) has tasted defeat just once in his last 19 fights. The Bodyshop trainer’s most recent tour has seen him compete in the UFC, MFC, and IFL. “Mandingo”, once considered a pure wrestler, has shown vast improvement in his striking game. McKee will make his DREAM debut, coming into the bout having had his hand raised over Bellator veteran Toby Imada, UFC alums Marcus Aurelio and Mike Dolce, and Strikeforce veteran Brian Cobb in an underrated classic.
DREAM 18 takes place New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The event will feature a mixed card of MMA and a 16-man heavyweight kickboxing tournament in a co-promotion with Glory World Series.