Hayato Sakurai KO’s Shinya Aoki in round 1 of DREAM welterweight grand prix

Shinya Aoki had a very tough, albeit short, night in Nagoya, Japan; twenty-seven seconds short, to be exact. The WAMMA Lightweight Champion took on seasoned veteran, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in one of four welterweight tournament bouts that took place Sunday, April 5th, at DREAM 8.

Aoki, dressed in a new pair of black and gold spats, looked all business coming into the fight and seemed to take the advantage just as the bout started with Sakurai shooting in. Aoki was able to get underneath Sakurai’s shot and get the fight to the ground where Aoki is considered a master.

It is damn near impossible to think about a submission though when you have a knee hitting you in the face. In fact any thinking that may have been going on in Aoki’s mind was soon stopped as the colorful Japanese submission artist went unconscious after Sakurai’s knee and punches made contact with his head.

The referee quickly came to attend to Aoki, checking his pulse. He was still out. Finally, the mild-mannered Aoki recovered, got back to his feet, and congratulated his opponent. It is fairly obvious Aoki has no business at welterweight. Hopefully, if anything is learned from this, it will be that.

Also looking incredibly impressive in the tournament was Andre Galvao, who in just his third professional MMA fight, defeated Xtreme Couture’s John Alessio. The two-time world BJJ champion was able to get Alessio to the ground and went to work doing what he does best, finally submitting Alessio via armbar at 7:34 into round one.

The other two welterweight tournament winners included Jason High who knocked his opponent, Yuya Shirai, to the mat and submitted him via rear naked choke in round one, and Marius Zaromskis, who won a hard fought unanimous decision over Seichi Ikemoto.

The second round of this tournament is going to be incredible. Any way these four semi-finalists are matched up is going to produce some very exciting fights.

For the DREAM 8 complete results see the PRO MMA (promma.info) DEAM 8 results and round by round summary article.

By: Jack Bratcher

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