Photo via God Bless the Ring.
In an one-sided welterweight title showdown, Kazushi Sakuraba was unable to make it out of the first round after DREAM Welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis punched Sakuraba's inflated cauliflower ear, causing it to spew blood. It wasn't quite as bloody as the James Thompson vs. Kimbo Slice match-up back in May of 2008, but repeated blows to the ear caused it to tear away from Sakuraba's head. The doctors called the fight immediately upon this revelation.
Due to the stoppage due to injury, Sakuraba wasn't able to offer much of a challenge against the 30-year-old Lithuanian striker. For most of the first round, Zaromskis fired off blow after flow without any consequences. His footwork was much speedier, and he sizzled kicks and punches into Sakuraba's wheel house, downing the MMA legend briefly at one point during the encounter.
The discussion in the aftermath during the broadcast revolved around retirement talk, but ending the bout on a low note of succumbing to a freak injury is probably not how Sakuraba would like to go out. Sakuraba addressed the crowd, but never hinted that his fighting career was over. How many more beatings can Sakuraba take? Only time and Sakuraba himself can tell.