Melvin Manhoef knocked out Kazushi Sakuraba to win the main event at the Dream.4 event today in Yokohama, Japan, advancing to the semifinals of the Dream middleweight tournament along with Armenia's Gegard Mousasi, Croatia's Zelg Galesic and Brazil's Ronaldo "Jacare" de Souza.
The 39-year-old Sakuraba is one of the most popular fighters in Japanese mixed martial arts history, but the Dutch Manhoef absolutely destroyed him. It was one quick kick to the head, then a series of strikes on the ground, and the referee stepped in and stopped it quickly. Sakuraba was bruised, dazed and totally out of it as he staggered out of the ring afterward.
After today's performance, Manhoef is probably the favorite to win the entire tournament, although it's wide open, and Jacare, who won a decision against American Jason "Mayhem" Miller, has a Brazilian jiu jitsu background that would make him an interesting opponent for Manhoef.
In other Dream.4 action, Shinya Aoki defeated Katsuhiko Nagata with a sweet submission, Alistair Overeem knocked out Lee Tae-Hyun, Ralek Gracie submitted Alavutdin Gadzhiyev and Hideo Tokoro defeated Darren Uyenoyama.