By MATT MOLGAARD
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Just a few short years ago, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai looked to be reinventing himself in the world of mixed martial arts. A threat to any man competing at welterweight (or lighter), “Mach” was considered a fading fighter in 2004 after a series of frequent losses diminished the Japanese stars drawing power.
But a return to peak form just two years later had pundits singing a new tune, and victories over Mac Danzig, Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Shinya Aoki looked like solid proof that Sakurai was once again climbing the ranks and establishing himself as a danger to upper echelon opposition.
All that changed when a July, 2009 knockout loss to Marius Zaromskis triggered a four fight skid for the popular Japanese product.
Now, two years later, Sakurai will be afforded the opportunity to avenge that loss, and put himself right back into the mix of the Japanese welterweight landscape, as the two will meet in a highly anticipated rematch on July 16th at Dream