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Marius Zaromskis

Marius Zaromskis

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It's long been thought that Japanese promoters try to protect some of their elite stars especially when they put together grand prix tournaments.

Last month it was American Joe Warren, with one pro MMA fight under his belt,�pulling the shocker on Kid Yamamato.

Hayato Sakurai now knows how it feels.�One of Japan's biggest stars,�he�fell victim to the fact that there are hot prospects oozing from different parts of the world.�Few knew who Marius Zaromskis was before DREAM's 2009 Welterweight Grand Prix.

They do now.

Zaromskis (11-2) shocked DREAM and Sakurai, destroying him on the feet and scoring a stoppage�that started with an unreal head kick just 3:57 into the fight (6:40 mark).

The 26-year-old Lithuanian was dynamite on his feet throughout the fight.

"The Whitemare"�(great nickname) showed early on that he was going to be trouble for Sakurai, who looked a bit doughy and was holding his hands too low.

Zaromskis nailed him with a straight left-right hook combination followed by a head kick attempt and a knee, 54 seconds in.

He put his strikes together nicely throughout the fight, opening cuts above and below Sakurai's left eye.

The fight was actually stopped for 2 1/2 minutes to tend to the cuts and as HDNet color analyst Guy Metzger astutely pointed out, give Sakurai a break.

The rest didn't help, 20 seconds later Zaromskis drilled "Mach" with a left head kick and followed the stunned Sakurai�to the ground landing 5-of-6 lefts to finish it.Zaromskis stormed into the final where he met American Jason High.

He finished High with a right head kick, again though it was part of a three-strike combo (2:50 mark).Now that's a coming out party! If you're wondering about Zaromskis' ground game.

He hit the mat once against Sakurai but avoided�any serious damage and his takedown defense early in the High fight was excellent.

It was a night of upsets, High surprised Anderson Silva's jiu-jitsu instructor Andre Galvao in the semifinals.

Surprisingly, Zaromskis, a veteran of the U.K.'s Cage Rage,�actually has two losses during his career both via KO at the hands of Brit Che Mills.�Mills was getting worked over on the ground in their first matchup but caught Zaromskis' leg and knocked him loopy with a head kick (5:20 mark).Zaromskis tournament victory simply shows the depth of fighters around the world grows by the day.

It's also proof why no one should ever say Georges St.

Pierre is unbeatable.

We're not saying GSP would lose to Zaromskis but someone is coming who will take out the UFC champ.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Japan-can-t-protect-its-fighters-Sakurai-upset-?urn=mma,177503
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