by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has re-signed middleweight contender Yushin Okami to a new contract sources close to the fighter confirmed to MMAWeekly.com.
There was much speculation about Okami’s future with the promotion after his last fight – a bout against Jason MacDonald that was widely regarded by fans as a No. 1 contenders match in the 185-pound weight class – was shelved to the prelims of UFC 77.
The Japanese fighter, a veteran of many promotions including Pride and K-1, was on the last fight of his previous contract when he defeated MacDonald. Despite rumors that Okami was fleeing the promotion, the UFC has negotiated a new deal with the fighter.
Okami’s name was conspicuously left out of the contenders list when UFC president Dana White spoke at the post-fight press conference at UFC 77, leading many to believe he would not return to the Octagon.
In his time with the UFC, Okami has amassed an impressive 5-1 record with his only loss coming to former middleweight champ Rich Franklin. He currently holds a disqualification win over 185-pound divisional king Anderson Silva, which makes a future match-up between the two an interesting bout.
After his last fight and his contract expiration, rumors circulated that Okami would appear on K-1′s New Year’s Eve card, but his new deal obviously puts those rumors to rest.
No word has come from the UFC or Okami’s camp about the details surrounding the new deal or when he might fight again.