Photo via God Bless the Ring
In one of the more drawn out battles on the K-1 Dynamite!! 2010 New Year's Eve card, former UFC fighter Jason High used superior wrestling and strength to out work and out grapple Japanese legend Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. After what seemed to be a solid opening round of action that favored Sakurai, High was able to gain top control and power through takedown attempts in the second and third round to secure the win.
Sakurai provided some excitement in the final moments of the fight following a referee stand-up as he came forward and landed a knee in tandem with a flush right hand. But High ate the shot, and drove his hips through Sakurai's defenses, taking him down one final time. Despite the fight being rather easy to judge in my eyes, the judges did turn in a split decision scoring, but it was luckily for the right fighter.
The loss extends Sakurai's losing streak to four, and it will likely fuel some speculation as to whether the time has come for Sakurai to hang the gloves up. FEG could still match him up against some easier opponents in the future as he has been taking on some solid competitors, but the question is whether "Mach" is content with being a showcase fighter rather than a relevant fighter.