Eight fights are now official for Dream “Fight for Japan: 2011 Bantamweight Tournament Final,” as a non-title welterweight rematch between champion Marius Zaromskis and Hayato Sakurai was announced by the promotion on Thursday.
Showcasing a bantamweight tournament final between Masakazu Imanari and Hideo Tokoro, the July 16 event will emanate from Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. Also featured on the card will be a pair of championship contests, as Dream light heavyweight king Gegard Mousasi defends his belt against Hiroshi Izumi and featherweight titleholder Hiroyuki Takaya puts his strap on the line against Kazuyuki Miyata.
The reigning Dream welterweight champion, Zaromskis (Pictured; file photo) has performed inconsistently after his title-winning run in the promotion’s 2009 welterweight grand prix that saw him defeat Sakurai by knockout. The Lithuanian has won just one of his last five fights, beginning with back-to-back knockout losses at the hands of Nick Diaz and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. The 30-year-old followed those defeats with a no-contest against Waachiim Spiritwolf after an accidental eye poke ended the contest just six seconds into round one. Zaromskis then earned his lone victory in the stretch, successfully defending his belt for the first time by finishing Kazushi Sakuraba in December. Most recently, Zaromskis fell to Jordan Mein by unanimous decision on June 10.
Sakurai is a 14-year veteran of the sport, formerly challenging for the UFC welterweight title. However, like his opponent, “Mach” has fallen on hard times lately. The 35-year-old has lost four-straight fights dating back to his knockout at the hands of Zaromskis in the welterweight grand prix. Since that defeat, “Mach” has been submitted by Diaz and Akihiro Gono, both by way of armbar. In his last in-ring appearance, the fighter dropped a split decision to Jason High at K-1 Dynamite: The Power of Courage 2010.
Dream “Fight for Japan: 2011 Bantamweight Tournament Final”
Saturday, July 16
Dream Bantamweight Tournament Final
Masakazu Imanari vs. Hideo Tokoro
Dream Light Heavyweight Championship
Gegard Mousasi vs. Hiroshi Izumi
Dream Featherweight Championship
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