Yushin Okami just can’t seem to catch a break. After defeating Nate Marquardt back in November of last year, Okami set himself up to be the next challenger to Anderson Silva’s middleweight title.
But after the events of UFC 126, UFC president, Dana White, made it clear that if Georges St. Pierre gets passed Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto, then the 170-pound UFC champ will contend Anderson Silva in a “super fight.” Evidently, Okami will have to wait it out a bit and let GSP fight for the title first.
After the evening of fights, White explained how he feels bad for Okami, but he still sees the Japanese fighter as one of the best in the world in his weight class.
“I feel bad about it too,” he said after the post fight press conference. “At the 185lb division right now, (Yushin) Okami got hurt and couldn’t get that fight, and now he’s been waiting forever, and Okami does deserve that fight. I think Okami’s one of the best 85lber’s in the world.
“I have a lot of respect for him and he’s going to get that title shot he’s been waiting for.”
Okami (26-5) is the last person to add a loss to Anderson Silva’s record, but the win was not spectacular by any means. The two met at Rumble on the Rock in 2006 where Okami was on the business end of an illegal upkick by Silva, causing the now UFC middleweight champion to lose the fight by disqualification.
Some speculate about what might have happened if the upkick never occurred, but most believe Silva would have continued his winning ways and dominated Okami just as he has done to the rest of the the middleweight division.
For now, Yushin Okami will watch UFC 129 on April 30 to see if St. Pierre will indeed earn a shot at Silva. If the welterweight champion is unsuccessful in his bout with Shields, perhaps Okami will finally get to prove he can stand toe to toe with Anderson Silva.
Given the current situation, there is a strong chance Okami will be cheering for Jake Shields in Toronto.