Okay, Marius Zaromskis surprised the hell out of us by winning the Dream welterweight tournament thanks to consecutive head kicks. So does that mean it’s worth our time to try and learn a little about this guy? Probably, yeah, and we say that despite being incredibly lazy. After a minimal amount of internet sleuthing, here are some things worth knowing about your new top dog in the Dream welterweight ranks:
Now that we all know who Marius Zaromskis is, it’s time for fanboys around the world to crown him "the next Anderson Silva" — and this new AC/DC-soundtracked highlight reel makes a pretty strong case for that claim. The UFC needs to sign this dude so he can start head-kicking some of the weak links straight out of their welterweight division. The Whitemare is balls-out excitement, 150% of the time. Believe that.
After the jump: Another highlight reel, for another "next Anderson Silva," and a strange little fight from DREAM.10 that you may not have seen yet, but really should.
MMAFighting.com breaks the news that Zaromskis has signed with Bellator, and will make his debut this year in the later part of their sixth season. Though he would have made an excellent replacement for War Machine, Zaromskis will not be a part of the welterweight tournament. We’ll update you when we know more about his promotional debut date and first opponent.
Just look at these two–like a couple of wild dogs you can’t keep apart.
With two bouts and two unsatisfying stoppages already under their belts, Waachiim Spiritwolf and Marius Zaromskis are slated to once more climb into a cage and go through the motions of fighting before a freak injury leaves the viewing audience with a massive case of blue balls.
The pair first locked horns at Strikeforce Challengers 12, where an inadvertent eyepoke just seconds into the fight left Spiritwolf unable to continue. The duo reloaded and clashed once more a few weeks back at Bellator 68, where cageside doctors would call a halt to the bout between the second and third frames due to a cut between Spiritwolf’s eyebrows.
With one ‘No Contest’ and one questionable tally in the win column for Zaromskis, Spiritwolf will have his chance to settle the score on July 20th at Bellator 72.
After the jump, season six Welterweight tournament finalists will tie up loose ends as well…
Related: Only one undercard fighter missed weight for tonight’s Strikeforce event. Also, Mike Whitehead will have a 43-pound weight advantage over King Mo in their heavyweight scrap. CagePotato.com’s liveblog of the Showtime broadcast kicks off at 10 p.m. ET. Don’t be a stranger.
Fights taking place in North America just haven’t worked out for the cheesily-nicknamed Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis. Heading into last night’s “Rumble of the Kings”, the DREAM welterweight champion was 0-3 with one no contest on North American soil. Arguably just as bad, his politically incorrect nickname typically is replaced with the totally original “Raging Demon” moniker.
Unfortunately for Bruno Carvalho, last night’s “Rumble of the Kings” took place in Stockholm, Sweden.
You know you’re somebody in the world of mixed martial arts when A/V genius Genghis Con makes you the subject of one of his mesmerizing videos. That’s why we’re still waiting for that highlight reel featuring clips of us sitting at our computers to the tune of obscure Japanese pop bands (and we won’t wait forever, Genghis), but in the meantime we can entertain ourselves with some of the Con’s most recent work on new Strikeforce signee Marius "The Raging Demon" Zaromskis. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from our favorite video editing machine. The video game-esque music is the perfect compliment to Zaromskis’ ridiculous string of head kick KO’s, and nothing tells you that the guy has a Street Fighter II-like overconfidence in himself quite like the attempted backflip attack at the 2:37 mark.
Not that we can’t understand the reasoning behind it, but we’re still a little disappointed in the change of nickname for Zaromskis. Sure, "The Whitemare" is the kind of thing that might not play in the U.S., but at least it’s unique. "Raging Demon" sounds like a skateboard company started by a group of guys who dropped out of community college. The very least Strikeforce could do is to give him a nickname that is as quirky and uncommon as his last one, even if he ends up hating it as much as Gegard Mousasi despises his.
We should have known there would be trouble after Hayato "Mach" Sakuraineeded seven and a half extra hours to make weight for today’s DREAM’s welterweight GP finals. The tournament favorite might have been fighting through exhaustion when he met Marius Zaromskis in the semis, in a bout marked by wild striking exchanges. Sakurai absorbed the more damaging blows, and the fight was halted about four minutes in so that doctors could check on a spurting gash under Mach’s left eye. When it was finally restarted after a long break, Zaromskis measured up Sakurai then threw a high left kick that put his lights out. A few more punches on the ground, and it was game over.
On the other side of the bracket, Jason High scored an upset of his own, handing jiu-jitsu juggernaut Andre Galvao his first MMA loss in a very close decision fight; one judge gave it to Galvao for his submission attempts in the first round, while the other two saw it for High due to his superior striking in the second. But the thrill of victory wouldn’t last long for High, as Zaromskis scored another head kick knockout — this time with the right leg — in their finals match.
In non-tournament action, Shinya Aoki outpointed Vitor Ribeiro in a disappointingly dull 15-minute bout, Dong Sik Yoon had to quit just a minute into his fight against Jesse Taylor after suffering a foot injury, and Paulo Filho survived a brutal striking assault from Melvin Manhoef and won the fight via armbar in what might be the leading contender for comeback fight of 2009. Complete results and more DREAM.10 fight videos are after the jump.
As first reported by MMA Junkie, Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba will return to action on New Year’s Eve at Dynamite!! 2010, where he’ll challenge Marius Zaromskis for DREAM’s welterweight title. Though the 41-year-old vet has generally competed as a middleweight, he’ll be dropping to the lighter division following back-to-back losses against Ralek Gracie and Jason Miller.
The match will also serve as a comeback attempt for Zaromskis, who’s coming off of a disastrous Strikeforce run this year which saw him suffer first-round knockouts against Nick Diaz and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, then eye-poke his way into a six-second no-contest against Waachim Spiritwolf last month. Zaromskis went 4-0 under the DREAM banner in 2009, with three of those wins coming via head-kick knockout.
As of now, the only other fights booked for this year’s Dynamite!! card are a featherweight title fight between Bibiano Fernandes and Hiroyuki Takaya, and a lightweight feature between Josh Thomson and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Shinya Aoki, Melvin Manhoef, and Gegard Mousasi are also reported for the event, but their fights haven’t been finalized. But hey, the show’s not for another three weeks. Plenty of time.
But first, let’s go over the tournament bouts. In the evening’s main event, judo black belt Karl Amoussou made quick work of Jackson MMA’s Bryan “The Beast” Baker. After an early accidental eye poke from Baker, the two traded blows throughout the opening frame. Then, after a failed Super KickTM from Baker, Amoussou locked in a nasty heel hook that earned the submission just fifty six seconds into the bout. Seriously, that’s how this one ended. Take a look:
Zaromskis will pose the biggest challenge of the career of the 21-7 Albertan, who defeated UFC veterans Joe Riggs (TKO) and Josh Burkman (decision) in his last two outings. “Young Guns” is hoping that a win over a fighter like Zaromskis will elicit a call from the UFC.
“I pride myself on being entertaining and putting on a good show for the crowd,” says Mein. “I know Marius will give me a great fight and test my abilities.”
(Overeem vs. Thompson. Props to DreamCageFights. And special props to Michael Schiavello for predicting that this fight wouldn’t last long. How the hell did he see that one coming?!?)
- Alistair Overeem def. James Thompson via submission (guillotine choke), 0:33 of round 1 - Eddie Alvarez def. Katsunori Kikuno via submission (arm-triangle choke), 3:42 of round 2 - Marius Zaromskis def. Myeon Ho Bae via KO (head kick), 0:19 of round 1 - Kazushi Sakuraba def. Zelg Galesic via submission (kneebar), 1:40 of round 1 - Katsuyori Shibata def. Tokimitsu Ishizawa via TKO, 4:52 of round 1 - Dong Sik Yoon def. Tarec Saffiedine via split decision - Yoshiro Maeda def. Chase Beebe via submission (rear-naked choke), 3:36 of round 1 - Kuniyoshi Hironaka def. Won Sik Park via TKO (eye injury), 5:00 of round 1 - Tomoya Miyashita def. Keisuke Fujiwara via unanimous decision
For the first time since his controversial technical submission of Ryan Thomas during his Bellator debut three years ago, Ben Askren has finished an opponent. Sure, it was one of those sort-of-assisted finishes where the doctor steps in between rounds to wave the fight off, but let’s not take anything anything away from Funky Ben, here: The undefeated Bellator welterweight champion smashed the living dog-poop out of Karl Amoussou for three full rounds last night, and might have permanently injured him had the fight gone on any longer.
It was a prototypical performance from Askren, who spent most of the fight on top of Amoussou, throwing down punches and elbows. Still, there seemed to be a greater sense of urgency from the champ in this fight, a little more intention with his strikes. He slashed open a cut above Amoussou’s eye with an elbow in the first round, and by the end of round three, Amoussou’s left eye was swollen shut and his face was a wet canvas of blood. The fight was mercifully stopped before the fourth round could begin, giving Askren a well-deserved TKO victory.
“I told you guys that it was just a matter of time before my hands got some power in them,” Askren said after the fight. “I dominate positionally, and my hands [have] power too. Welterweights anywhere in the world better watch out, I’m coming.” Askren’s next challenge will likely be the winner of this season’s welterweight tournament, which produced four semifinalists last night…
This kickass highlight reel — which could also be titled "Rise of the Whitemare" — covers DREAM’s welterweight grand prix from earlier this year, in which Marius Zaromskis smashed his way to the top of an eight-man field that also included such notables as Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, and Andre Galvao. Highlights include Zaromskis’s fake-flying-knee superman punch at the 2:39 mark, and of course his knockout-of-the-year candidate against Jason High at the 4:19 mark. DREAM returns on October 8th with the semifinals and finals of its featherweight grand prix, the second round of the Super Hulk Tournament, and the lightweight title fight between Joachim Hansen and Shinya Aoki.
After the jump:Anderson Silva shows off his boxing skills against a local pugilist at Freddie Roach’s boxing club.
(More frightening than anything you’ll see this Halloween. Gif courtesy of Zombie Prophet.)
Although it was marginally overlooked in our weekend wrap-up of the event, you guys might have heard that Marius Zaromskis was nearly ground into a fine white powder by the fists of Andrey Koreshkov in their co-main event matchup at Bellator 78 this past weekend. Despite the fact that referee Jerry Poe was literally watching the action from the perfect angle, he apparently suffered a case of sudden onset blindness at the worst possible moment, allowing Koreshkov to reign down some 11 unanswered blows — which were each fight-ending power strikes in and of themselves — before calling a stop the fight. It made Josh Rosenthal’s stoppage of Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz look like Rick Fike’s stoppage of Aaron Riley vs. Shane Nelson 1. Word has it that even Steve Mazzagatti started screaming “Wake the fuck up ref!” at his television during the fight. Needless to say, people were pissed.
But we can rest assured for the time being, because Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato recently told BloodyElbow that the fight was “under review.” While we truly appreciate that notion on behalf of the fighters, we’re not exactly sure what potential punishments could arise from a review (although an attempted manslaughter charge for Poe seems appropriate) or how they could be carried out.
The problem is, we’ve seen these kinds of referee blunders go unpunished before — as will likely be the case in this instance — so it almost begs one to ask what exactly a referee has to do (or not do) in order to be held accountable for their decisions.
(Well, they’ve definitely felt the cutbacks in the creative lab.)
It looks like FEG is giving this MMA thing one last try before calling it quits.
The Japanese organization today released the poster for its DREAM 16 event and if it’s any indication of who will be fighting on the card, it looks like Tatsuya Mizuno, Caol Uno, Shinya Aoki, Hiroyuki Takaya, Ikuhisa Minowa, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Gegard Mousasi, Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro will all fight on its upcoming September 25 card.
If we’ve learned anything from the past, though, its that the Japanese are crafty marketers and they often say one thing and do another.
(Sorry Nick, but there’s no way you’re winning this competition for overall chest viewership. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin’s archives.)
You can probably put this in the ‘fights that would have been great two years ago’ category, but at least it’s happening. According to GracieFighter.com – your go-to source for very brief stories on why the Gracie squad rules and you totally suck – Nick Diaz will be fighting Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in a 170-pound, non-title bout at Dream.15 in Tokyo at the end of May.
It’s a fight Diaz has been trying to secure for some time, only in light of Sakurai’s recent decline it seems far less competitive now. Sakurai lost his last two fights in decisive fashion, first to recent Diaz victim Marius Zaromskis via head kick, and then to Akihiro Gono via armbar. What’s worse is how uninspired he looked against Gono, as if he would rather be anywhere else than in the ring.
If that same Sakurai shows up to fight Diaz, who’s riding a six-fight winning streak since his TKO loss due to cuts against KJ Noons, it could be a very quick and painful night in front of his home crowd.
(One blind punch can sure screw up a guy’s picks something awful. Photo courtesy of Fight Magazine.)
By now we’ve all had a chance to see how we fared in our individual FightPicker pools, and then follow that up with the appropriate amount of gloating/sobbing at the sight of the overall standings. I’ll admit that I wasn’t feeling too great about finishing third in my pool, but hey, that’s what I get for thinking Nick Diaz and Marius Zaromskis would take longer than a round to reach that level of reckless abandon. Third felt acceptable. It felt almost dignified. Then my wife pointed out that she beat me. By a lot. And not only did she win her pool, she’s tied for first overall.
I spent the next several hours sitting alone in a dark room, feeling bad about myself and reevaluating some life choices. If only Melvin Manhoef hadn’t gotten quite so overeager, I kept telling myself, things might have been different. But that’s not the way it worked out, thanks to Robbie Lawler’s Hail Mary right hook, and now I get to hear about it for the rest of my life. Or until I redeem myself with UFC 109.
Feel free to use the comments section below to curse your picks, brag about what a magnificent human being you are, complain about some perceived injustice, or do whatever you need to do to process the results.
Until you come upon the somersault kick, that is, as demonstrated by Marius Zaromskis in the above video. You see, the somersault kick is a move so dangerous, so batshit insane, that you’d have to be high on bath salts to even consider attempting to pull it off. Hence why it was first popularized by Harold Howard and has been responsible for over 453 deaths worldwide since 1998.
So you’ll forgive us for acting a bit hysterical while delivering this news, but it appears as if someone out there was not only crazy enough to attempt this maneuver in competition on two separate occasions over the course of a month, but successfully landed the kick both times, knocking out both of his opponents in the process.
Zaromskis will instead meet Pancrase and DEEP veteran Eiji Ishikawa, a journeyman grappler out of Tokyo’s Grabaka gym. Ishikawa’s record carries losses to some guys you know (Hector Lombard, Yushin Okami, Yuki Kondo), a draw with Nate Marquardt (under the Pancrase banner back in 2004), and one win over a guy you’ve ever heard of (a majority decision over Ryo Chonan in 2002). In forty fights, Ishikawa has just six stoppage wins. So … yeah.
Man, what is up with main events in 2011?
(Put her in a body bag! No seriously, could someone please dispose of that corpse as quickly as possible? I’m starting to feel queasy.)
No, that is not a screenshot from The Ring, that is the aftermath of the last time we saw Sheila Bird compete in this thing we call MMA. It took place back in July of 2011 against Kim Couture, and using the combination of a leg scissor choke and some of the worst referee negligence this side of Marius Zaromskis vs. Andrey Koreshkov, Bird not only came away with the win, but provided one photographer with the opportunity to stare into the fleeting remnants of Couture’s soul before she stole it. It was the first documented case of Shang Tsunging in WMMA history.
What are we going on about? Well, Ms. Bird stepped back into the octagon last weekend, and although the end result was nearly as horrific for her victim this time out, it was equally as decisive. Bird needed just 11 seconds to pack Christina Barry’s lunch and jam it down her throat brown bag and all at AFC 12 on Friday, so head after the jump to check out the brutal finish.