UFC 122 Winner Guaranteed Title Shot; Will It Be Nate Marquardt or Yushin Okami?

UFC Fighters Nate Marquardt and Yushin OkamiThe UFC and Spike TV, in a news release earlier this week, confirmed that UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami would air via same day tape delay on Spike TV at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Not only that, but the release also assured that the winner of the main event between Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami was guaranteed a shot at Anderson Silva’s UFC middleweight championship.

Marquardt (30-9-2) is coming off of a first-round TKO victory against Rousimar Palhares on Sept. 15. With over 40 fights on his resume, Marquardt is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC, and has notched wins against notable middleweights like Demian Maia and Martin Kampmann. His last four victories have come by way of knockout, setting the stage for fireworks on Nov. 13.

Marquardt was originally slated to fight Vitor Belfort in the main event, but when Chael Sonnen was pulled from a title rematch with Silva due to a positive drug test, Belfort was called upon to face Silva at UFC 126 on Super Bowl weekend. That bout will be Belfort’s first in nearly a year and a half after sitting on the sidelines due to injury.

Okami (25-5) has fought the best middleweights in the world throughout his lengthy career.  Since his debut in the Octagon in August 2006 at UFC 62, he was won nine of 11 bouts in the Octagon, including victories over Alan Belcher, Mike Swick, the late Evan Tanner, and, most recently, Mark Munoz this past August. In January of 2006, he defeated current UFC champ Anderson Silva at B.J. Penn’s Rumble On The Rock promotion in a controversial bout where Silva was disqualified for an illegal kick.  A victory over Marquardt could deliver a rematch with Silva, if the current champion is successful in defending against Belfort.

Both Marquardt and Okami sit high in the current MMA Top 10 rankings, easily making their individual cases for a shot at the UFC middleweight title.

Other UFC 122 bouts scheduled for the televised portion of the event include Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara, Andre Winner vs. Dennis Siver, Amir Sadollah vs. Peter Sobotta, and Goran Reljic vs. Krzysztof Soszynski.

Winner, Sadollah, and Soszynski, are all alumnus of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the popular reality series that also airs on Spike TV.

Check out the MMAWeekly.com Rumors section for the full UFC 122 fight card.