by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Mar 09, 2011 at 8:05 am ET
The wear and tear of Kazushi Sakuraba’s prolific 14-year fighting career was no more evident than this past December.
That’s when the Japanese veteran took on DREAM welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis at “Dynamite!! 2010.”
The Lithuanian wasn’t Sakuraba’s only opponent; the 41-year-old “Gracie Hunter” also was contending with a badly cauliflowered ear that’d play a significant part in the year-end title fight.
Each week HDNet and MMAjunkie.com release a new and exclusive fight from the ever-growing HDNet Fights video library. Stunning knockouts, slick submissions, shocking finishes and legendary brawls are the norm for this weekly feature. However, Sakuraba vs. Zaromskis perhaps falls in a different category: uncomfortable.
Sakuraba (26-15-1) entered the bout as a significant underdog and with four losses in his previous six fights. While once of PRIDE’s most prolific and popular fighters, the DREAM bout likely served as one of his final shots at MMA glory.
Zaromskis (13-5), who went winless in a trio of Strikeforce bouts in 2010, looked to make his first successful title defense since winning the 2009 DREAM welterweight grand prix. He also wanted to regain the magic of a 9-1 run he put together before his three-fight Strikeforce stint ended with losses to Nick Diaz and Evangelista Santos (and a no-contest with Waachiim Spiritwolf).
Would Sakuraba’s ear survive his opponent’s crisp striking, or would Zaromskis use is to his advantage and get back in the win column?
Check out the embedded clip for the answer.
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