Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Redemption Factor: Marius Zaromskis vs. Hayato Sakurai Rematch Announced

Marius Zaromskis (left) and Hayato Sakurai (right) are both in search of a big comeback win. They will face off in a rematch at Dream's Bantamweight Tournament Final event.
Last night Japanese promotion Dream announced a second meeting between current Dream Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis and revered MMA veteran Hayato Sakurai. The match is one of eight official pairings on the upcoming Dream: Fight for Japan: 2011 Bantamweight Tournament Final, scheduled for July 16.

Zaromskis and Sakurai last fought at Dream 10 in the semifinals of the Welterweight World Grand Prix. Zaromskis stopped Sakurai via TKO following a non-stop striking campaign. He went on to win the tournament with a championship round win over Jason High via deadly high-kick. The knockout win over Jason High has graced countless MMA highlight reels.

However, the devastating striker that impressed fans in the Dream Welterweight Grand Prix in 2009 didn't quite meet the mark in future bouts. Since putting the brakes to Jason High, Zaromskis has gone just 2-2 with one no contest against Waachim Spiritwolf at Strikeforce Challengers 12. Additionally, the 'Whitemare' has had little success validating his talent before American audiences as his last two losses have both taken place in the United States.

Hayato 'Mach' Sakurai's more recent outings haven't looked any better. While I could write a book about the career of Hayato Sakurai, it wouldn't change the present state of his career. His 2009 loss to Zaromskis sparked a four-fight loosing streak which includes a submission loss to Nick Diaz and a split decision to Jason High. On the upside, a win over Marius Zaromskis could put Sakurai's career back on the right track. The Shooto and Pride veteran who helped pioneer Japanese MMA is staring in the eyes of redemption and vengeance might be the key to rebounding his career.

The non-title bout between Marius Zaromskis and Hayato Sakurai makes for one stacked card at Dream Bantamweight Tournament Final. Here's a look at the full card.

Dream “Fight for Japan: 2011 Bantamweight Tournament Final”
Saturday, July 16
Ariake Coliseum
Tokyo, Japan

Dream Bantamweight Tournament Final Bout
Masakazu Imanari vs. Hideo Tokoro

Dream Light Heavyweight Title Bout
Gegard Mousasi vs. Hiroshi Izumi

Dream Featherweight Title Bout
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Kazuyuki Miyata

Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs. Marius Zaromskis
Keisuke Fujiwara vs. Kenji Osawa
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Willamy “Chiquerim” Freire
Todd Duffee vs. Nick Gaston
Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Bruno Carvalho

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