||12-31-2010 11:36 AM
High won by SD:
For Japanese legend Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, it was simply a matter of too little, too late.
American opponent Jason High won the battle of position for 14-plus minutes and appeared well on his way to a standard-fare unanimous-decision win. Then Sakurai made his claim for the win in the final seconds with a leaping left hand and a powerful knee that left High scrambling on the floor.
Unfortunately for Sakurai, High held on until the final bell, and he was awarded the split-decision victory.
Sakurai looked strong early on with a first-round takedown that saw him claim side control. High regained half-guard and defended from underneath, though he actually received a yellow card for stalling. On the restart, High reversed a takedown attempt and briefly took top position.
The second round played out in similar fashion with High settling for a guillotine choke on a Sakurai takedown attempt. Sakurai easily popped out of the hold, but High again swept to the top.
With the fight very much up for grabs in the final frame, Sakurai landed a jumping knee to open and would eventually work to mount when the fight hit the canvas. But High scrambled free and reversed the position, where he would stay until Sakurai received his own yellow card, which led to the final sequence.
With the razor-thin victory, High (12-3) has won three-straight fights since his one-and-done stint in the UFC. Meanwhile, Sakurai (35-12-2), who opened his career in 1996 with an astonishing 20-fight unbeaten streak, has now lost four consecutive fights.
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