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Home MMA Zaromskis an Improbable Champion, Aoki Back on Track
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Zaromskis an Improbable Champion, Aoki Back on Track

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For those who were not still awake in the early hours of the morning to catch the action from Japan, Marius Zaromskis, a heavy underdog in DREAM’s Welterweight Grand Prix, defied the odds to be named the new DREAM welterweight champion in front of a full house at the Saitama Super Arena.
After an opening round brawl that saw Zaromskis bloody tournament favourite Hayato “Mach” Sakurai with a barrage of punches before finishing him in the first round, the Lithuanian advanced to the tournament finals to face American Jason High. High was coming off a close split decision victory over Andre Galvao who had recovered from the first round assault from the Jui Jitsu ace to eek out the victory. After High wrestled Zaromskis to the ground, Zaromskis gained the superior position before the fight returned to the feet. Before his opponent had a chance to regroup Zaromskis landed an explosive head kicked that knocked High out cold.
In the co-main event of the evening, top lightweight Shinya Aoki got back in the wins column by defeating Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro by unanimous decision. In what was supposed to be an extremely technical grappling match, the majority of the fight was spent standing. Aoki kept Ribeiro at a distance with numerous kicks that left Shaolin’s arms a nice shade of purple while stuffing multiple take down attempts. When Ribeiro was finally able to take the fight to the ground he was unable to do any significant damage, leaving the judges no choice but to give the match to Aoki.
After weathering an early storm from Melvin Manhoef, Paulo Filho submitted the K-1 veteran early in the first round of their match. Manhoef held nothing back in the opening minutes of the fight, landing numerous punches and even dropping Filho at one point, but was unable to finish him. When the fighters stood back up, Filho took the striker down and easily gained the mount. From there he secured an arm bar where, after a brief struggle, Manhoef was forced to tap.
In a late addition to the card, TUF bad boy Jesse Talyor defeated Dong Sik Yoon due to injury. Taylor slammed Yoon to the ground early. After the two struggled for position Yoon quickly signalled to the referee that he could no longer continue. Apparently Yoon’s ankle was injured during the takedown, thus Taylor was awarded the stoppage victory.
Other bouts that took place included victories by DEEP champion Katsunori Kikuno over Andre “Dida” Amade and Team Quest member Tarec Saffiedine over Seichi Ikemoto.

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