World Series of Fighting president Ray Sefo on Sunday announced that Okami agreed to fight for his promotion, confirming an initial report from MMAFighting.com.
Okami is unlikely to make his WSOF debut until early 2014.
The Japanese veteran had been a staple of the UFC’s 185-pound division since 2006, amassing a record of 13-5 in the Octagon. His overall MMA record currently stands at 29-8.
Okami is coming off of a first-round loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza via TKO stoppage on the Sept. 4 fight card in Brazil. That loss ended a three-fight winning streak over the likes of Buddy Roberts, Alan Belcher, and Hector Lombard.
He is one of only five men to hold a victory over former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, albeit due to Silva being disqualified for an illegal up-kick during their Rumble on the Rock 8 bout in early 2006.
Okami has been a title contender almost from the day he set foot in the Octagon. He finally got a crack at the belt and another shot at Silva at UFC 134 in August of 2011 in Brazil. Silva took Okami out by way of TKO stoppage in the second round.
“You have to look at a guy, right? And I’ve said many times that I have nothing but respect for Yushin Okami,” said UFC president Dana White in explaining the UFC’s decision to release Okami. “He’s one of the best Japanese fighters ever, but a guy gets to the point where he becomes the gatekeeper. It’s time for Yushin Okami to go out and test himself outside of the UFC, get some wins and maybe come back.”
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