It’s been over four years since Yushin Okami met Anderson Silva at Rumble on the Rock in Hawaii in the first round of their 175-pound tournament, but the Japanese fighter still believes the two have unfinished business.
After snatching a takedown in the opening round, Okami looked to open up his offense from the top, but Silva fired back with an illegal up-kick that absolutely floored him While it has to be considered one of the nastiest kicks ever in MMA, it was also illegal because Okami’s knees were on the mat.
Okami was laid out on the mat, hurting for several minutes, and simply could not continue. Silva was disqualified and lost the fight. That was the last time Anderson Silva ever tasted defeat.
Following the fight, Silva said that he never completely had the rules properly explained to him before the bout started, and did not know the kick was deemed illegal. Okami went on to the finals of the tournament where he lost to Jake Shields, but there was always some bad blood left brewing between the two fighters.
Fast forward to 2010 and Okami’s win over Nate Marquardt, and the Japanese fighter is now in line to fight for the UFC middleweight championship. While Okami will fight the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort, it’s very clear who the new No. 1 contender wants to fight when he gets his title shot.
“Fighting against Anderson Silva is one of my goals,” Okami said after the win at UFC 122. “I would like to fight against the middleweight champion Anderson Silva, so I hope he wins the next fight.”
Strong words from Okami, who will likely be sitting front and center when Silva meets Belfort in February at UFC 126, knowing he’ll get the winner later in 2011.
Silva has never backed down from wanting a bit of revenge on Okami too. Following their first fight, rumors abounded close to the Silva camp that they believed Okami was milking the stoppage, and could have continued, but chose not to.
Whether the fight was four years ago or not, that past is soon going to be dug up if Yushin Okami and Anderson Silva do indeed meet for the UFC middleweight title next year.