DREAM Books Sakurai-Zaromskis Rematch For July 16thHayato “Mach” Sakurai will receive a second shot at DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis. The Japanese veteran will face Zaromskis in a non-title rematch at DREAM’s upcoming event on July 16th in Tokyo, Japan. The bout was officially announced earlier today.

Sakurai and Zaromskis first met in the finals of the DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix in July of 2009. Zaromskis used his trademark head kick to set up a finish on Sakurai and went on to capture the DREAM title later in the evening. The struggling Sakurai has dropped three straight fights since.

Sakurai (35-12-2) has encountered tough times in recent fights and was unable to follow up on the momentum from his crushing 27-second knockout of DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki in 2009. The one-time pound-for-pound king’s dedication to the sport has been questioned by some over the past three years, but some believed that a Split Decision loss to Jason High on New Year’s Eve should have been scored in Sakurai’s favour. Should he be able to upset Zaromskis in the rematch, Sakurai would both avenge a loss and possibly even earn a rubber match for the title.

Zaromskis (14-6-0, 1 NC) has also struggled badly since capturing the DREAM title nearly two years ago. Though he earned two more victories in Japan after becoming DREAM Welterweight Champion, Zaromskis went winless in three appearances for Strikeforce in 2010 and most recently dropped a close decision to Canadian prospect Jordan “Young Gun” Mein at the Score Fighting Series 1 two weeks ago. Now in desperate need of a big win to get back on track, Zaromskis will have an opportunity to return to his winning ways when he faces Sakurai for the second time.

DREAM: “Fight For Japan – 2011 Bantamweight Tournament Final” takes place on July 16th at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan. The event features the final of the 2011 DREAM Japan Bantamweight Tournament between Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari and Hideo Tokoro.


DREAM: “Fight For Japan – 2011 Bantamweight Tournament Final” Fight Card (subject to change):

– Masakazu Imanari vs Hideo Tokoro [DREAM Japan Bantamweight Tournament Final]
– Gegard Mousasi vs Hiroshi Izumi [DREAM Light Heavyweight Championship]
– Hiroyuki Takaya vs Kazuyuki Miyata [DREAM Featherweight Championship]
– Kenji Osawa vs Keisuke Fujiwara [DREAM Japan Bantamweight Tournament Third Place]
– Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Willamy Freire
– Todd Duffee vs Nick Gaston
– Eiji Mitsuoka vs Bruno Carvalho



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)