"The Gracie Hunter" returns on New Year's Eve.
) has learned from sources close to the event that MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba (26-14-1 MMA, 3-3 DREAM) has been granted a title shot against DREAM welterweight champ Marius Zaromskis (13-5 MMA, 3-0 DREAM) at the year-end "DREAM!! 2010" event.
DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and airs on HDNet in the U.S.
The company has yet to officially announce the matchup.
The 41-year-old Sakuraba enters the contest on a two-fight loss streak. The 27-time PRIDE veteran, who also fought twice (on the same night) under the UFC banner, suffered a submission loss to Jason "Mayhem" Miller in September, and he was also defeated by Ralek Gracie via decision.
The loss to Ralek brought Sakuraba's career tally against the famed Gracie family down to 4-2. Original UFC champion Royce also defeated Sakuraba via decision in 2007. Prior to the skid, Sakuraba earned his nickname by defeating Ryan, Renzo, Royce and Royler Gracie in a span of just 13 months. Sakuraba also holds wins over an array of notables that includes Vito Belfort, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Guy Mezger, Ikuhisa Minowa, Carlos Newton, Kevin Randleman and Ken Shamrock, among others.
Meanwhile, Zaromskis looks to rebuild his status after suffering two-straight defeats and a no contest result in three fights in the U.S.
Zarmoskis came to the U.S. on the strength of five-stright victories – a run that included four wins under the DREAM banner and saw the Lithuanian striker claim DREAM's welterweight title. "The Whitemare" struggled while competing for Strikeforce, though, and suffered TKO losses to Nick Diaz and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. The no contest came just six seconds into Zarmoskis' November fight with Waachim Spiritwolf when an eyepoke forced a quick stoppage.