Sakuraba’s ear partially detached vs. Zaromskis
Dream Welterweight Championship
Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
The video package for the Dream welterweight championship bout between Zaromskis and Sakuraba asks the question, “Is Sakuraba finished?”
“Finished?” he says. “I don’t think I’m finished.”
Zaromskis flies at Sakuraba with a kick, but “The IQ Wrestler” brushes him away. Sakuraba indulges Zaromskis on the feet for a bit, connecting with push kicks and hooks. However, Zaromskis’ sharp punches connect on Sakuraba as well. One punch seems to open up Sakuraba’s legendarily cauliflowered right ear. Referee Moritaka Oshiro calls a brief break to get him cleaned up.
When they resume at the center, Sakuraba takes the center and continues to work his punches. Sakuraba’s defense is very tight and high, his hands aren’t connecting, while Zaromskis’ are. Oshiro steps in to have Sakuraba’s ear cleaned up again, but this time, Sakuraba is cupping his hand over it. The crowd lets out a collective groan of disappointment as the ringside physician tells Oshiro that Sakuraba cannot continue.
The official time of the bout is 2:16 of the first round. Marius Zaromskis successfully defends his Dream welterweight title for the first time.
With his head wrapped in bandages and tape, Sakuraba takes to the microphone and says in rapid-fire Japanese, “Sorry, but my ear kind of came off, dammit. Zaromskis is a great fighter. Thanks for coming out to support me, and I’ll continue to do my best. I think I’m still improving so I want to continue fighting.”