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Tag: Yushin Okami

Exclusive: Yushin Okami Talks Title Shots, Training Partners and Becoming a Star in the UFC

By Cage Potato Japanese Correspondent, Stewart Fulton

(“Thunder” is currently in holding pattern awaiting word of his next opponent.)

We visited Yushin Okami at RJW (Real Japan Wrestling, part of the Wajutsu Keishukai network) where he trains several days a week to interview him and watch him take the MMA class with some of the resident professional and amateur fighters.

RJW is located in a very unlikely spot – a residential area of Tokyo on a converted floor of a condominium, rather hard to find for anyone unfamiliar with Tokyo or the Japanese language.

A foam matted area and a marked wrestling-matted area with padded walls is about all there is. No heavy bags; no fancy equipment. Just the smell of old sweat barely masked by disinfectant. The cleaning of the mats is done by all of those who train that day after practice, and this is the norm for all martial arts dojos of any discipline across Japan.

Okami was happy to have the opportunity to speak to the international media. His English is almost non-existent, and he is much less known in his own country than abroad, making it a rare occasion for him to speak publicly to the international audience.

He was very adamant about his position in terms of a title shot against Anderson Silva, confident that he will take the middleweight belt and completely uninterested in the talk of a GSP versus Silva match up. In fact, he expressed his disdain at the notion of anyone switching weight class and getting an automatic title shot.

Check out what the perennial UFC number one middleweight contender had to say after the jump.

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Rankings Spotlight: MMA’s Top 5 Middleweights

(“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.” Pic: ESPN)

During the four years, four months and 16 days that Anderson Silva has had the middleweight title on lockdown, the UFC’s light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions have combined to produce 10 different champions. Think of it this way: Silva won the title by pulverizing Rich Franklin at freakin’ UFC 64, the same event where Sean Sherk defeated Kenny Florian to become the first lightweight champion since 2003. It was also just a few months after Michael Bisping defeated Josh Haynes to win season three of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Kinda seems like a lot has happened since then, huh?

Well, not at middleweight. Middleweight has been a rock – an unchanging, unshakable rock that sometimes seems so maddeningly bored with its own immovability that it just sits there and stares at its opponents for five tedious rounds. Silva’s dominance has been so thorough that it alone kind of makes ranking MMA’s top five 185-pounders an exercise in futility. Half the guys in the Top 10 have already been defeated by the current champ and lot of the other guys either don’t seem worthy or fight in other organizations. Still, we ranked ’em. Why? Because they were there, son, because they were there …

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Report: Sonnen Has Been Undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy For at Least the Past Year and Assumed CSAC Knew


(Creepy pale guy is thinking how great he would look in a jumpsuit made from Chael’s skin.)

CagesideSeats.com has an interesting story they scooped from Yahoo! Sports MMA reporter Dave Meltzer’s paid subscription f4wonline message board that sheds some light on the Chael Sonnen PED case.

According to the story, Sonnen has been undergoing hormone replacement therapy since before his fight with Yushin Okami, which he reported to and was given clearance to fight by the California State Athletic Commission prior to the the bout. Because it is a permanent treatment  Sonnen allegedly assumed his doctor prescribed required testosterone treatment would be on file, and thus never re-reported it to the commission.

Testosterone levels can drop off for various reasons, including age, hereditary reasons or because of stress the endocrine system is due to a number of variables,  not limited to repeated weight fluctuation and dehydration caused by weight cutting.

Here’s what Meltzer had to say about the case in the latest edition of  his Wrestling Observer newsletter:

"Chael Sonnen’s hearing before the California State Athletic Commission regarding testing positive for testosterone is scheduled for 12/2 in Sacramento. Josh Barnett will also be applying to get licensed on that date. The talk was Sonnen would argue based on being medically prescribed testosterone due to a low level in his system. The issue would be whether or not he informed the commission ahead of time, because in cases like that, at least in Nevada, you have to ask for an exemption well in advance, have the commission doctors and your doctors talk and get it approved, and you still can’t have a higher than normal level in your system when being tested which requires additional lab work. Those type of exemptions being approved are rare."

CS dug a little further and came up with a conversation between Meltzer and UFC.com writer/German UFC commentator Oliver Copp on the F4WOnline messageboard

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UFC 122 Aftermath: No Really, Take It Easy Out There, Guys

Fuck, that was fucking terrible. Last night we got an up-close-and-personal look at what happens when one of the UFC’s notoriously weak overseas cards doesn’t turn out to be better in practice than on paper. And Nation? It was not pretty. When these haphazard, garage-sale-style European stinkbombs don’t catch lightning in a bottle and don’t exceed our already low expectations, all you’re left with are a bunch of lackluster fights featuring guys nobody cares about. That might be fine for Strikeforce, but frankly we expect more from the UFC.

Oh, did we mention this bad boy was on tape delay? Yeah it was, so unless you were able to spend the day studiously avoiding all electronic media you knew who was going to win anyway, in which case you were probably better served to just stay up late to watch Manny Pacquiao beat up that dude with the Dave Navarro beard. Rumor has it that was pretty shitty too. Coupled with UFCs 119 and 120 it’s hard to remember the last time Our Fearless Leader did three shows this uninspiring in such quick succession. At this point, the supercharged midgets of the WEC can’t get here fast enough. Seriously, it’ll be nice to see a few fights where somebody shows a little urgency.

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UFC 122 (Somewhat) Live Blog

Without giving away too much of tonight’s tape-delayed UFC 122 decisionfest show that went down in Germany today, we will tell you that the guaranteed slugfest between Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara got yanked from the main card of the event due to Sakara pulling out of the bout today because of illness.

We’ll be "live" tonight at 9:00 pm ET to give those of you who don’t have cable, who are too cheap to go to a bar or who think we’re really your friends and want to hang out on a Saturday night a rundown of the action via the Spike TV re-broadcast.

Check out the preliminary card results and main card play-by-play after the jump:

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Landslide Alert: 80 Percent of Pros Pick Marquardt Over Okami


("I feel like famous comedian, how you say, Lodney Dangelfierd." Propers: UFC.com)

Man, this does not portend good things for Yushin Okami at UFC 122 tonight. Where most odds makers and journalists see Okami’s alleged No. 1 contender battle with Nate Marquardt shaping up as a fairly close fight, the professional fighters surveyed as part of Sherdog’s super-scientific recurring “Pros Pick” piece appear to think Nate the Great has this in the bag. Of the 48 fighters contacted 40 see Marquardt getting the win, with just four pulling the lever for Okami and four undecided. That’s 83.3 percent for Marquardt, which for the record makes this survey only slightly less lopsided than the one conducted for Randy Couture vs. James Toney at UFC 118, when just three of 54 polled fighters tabbed Toney (92.5 percent for Couture).

The numbers become even more lopsided once you consider that one of the guys picking Okami is Team Quest training partner Matt Lindland, and even he is hedging his bet – in classic Lindland style — by pre-supposing a conspiracy against Okami on the part of the ringside officials.

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UFC 122 Weigh-In Results

Nate Marquardt Yushin Okami UFC 122 zombies poster
(A surprise headshot will kill them. But don’t ever turn your back on a zombie, even if they feel really slippery. Props: UFC)

From today’s weigh-ins in Oberhausen, Germany. No surprises here…

MAIN CARD
Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Yushin Okami (185)
Jorge Rivera (185) vs. Alessio Sakara (186)
Dennis Siver (155) vs. Andre Winner (155)
Amir Sadollah (170) vs. Peter Sobotta (169)
Krzysztof Soszynski (206) vs. Goran Reljic (205)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Alexandre Ferreira (204) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (205)
Pascal Krauss (170) vs. Mark Scanlon (170)
Duane Ludwig (170) vs. Nick Osipczak (171)
Rob Kimmons (184) vs. Kyle Noke (185)
Seth Petruzelli (205) vs. Karlos Vemola (205)
Kris McCray (171) vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (170)

Come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night as we post live(-ish) play-by-play from the tape-delayed Spike TV broadcast of UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

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‘UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami’ — Extended Video Preview


(Props: fromhit)

UFC 122 may not be stacked — it’s Germany, those haters should be glad they’re getting anything — but it’ll be broadcast free on Spike, it’s full of potentially exciting matchups, and it’ll have serious implications for the UFC’s middleweight division. In the main event, Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami will face off for a title shot against the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort. Marquardt and Okami are two guys who have spent their UFC careers clawing their way almost to the top, but falling just short of the glory. Earlier in his UFC career, Marquardt was TKO’d by Anderson Silva in the Spider’s first official title defense at UFC 73; this year, Marquardt suffered a decision loss to Chael Sonnen, snapping a fearsome three-knockout run.

As for Okami, the Japanese standout was outpointed in a previous #1-contender match against Rich Franklin at UFC 72, and was also stymied by Chael Sonnen last October. In other words, UFC 122′s headliners have endured the same setbacks — and they both know that the big opportunities don’t last forever. It’s do or die time. At Jackson’s MMA and Grudge Training Center, Marquardt is getting the best preparation that this country has to offer, and he’s a powerful, vicious striker. Okami is a deceptively strong fighter with great conditioning, who might be able to smother Marquardt just like Sonnen did.

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Bisping to Get Loser of Marquardt-Okami?

In a recent interview with Fighters Only, UFC president Dana White revealed that the next time Michael Bisping steps through the doors of the Octagon to compete, he will be staring across the cage at a top five opponent.

Considering the options, it’s a pretty safe bet that said opponent will be the loser of the UFC 122 bout between Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt.

Let’s look at the simple deductive reasoning we used that helped us come to our conclusion:

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Dana White Confirms Our Hunch; Belfort vs. Silva is Official

UFC president Dana White today proved our sneaking suspicion that Vitor Belfort being dropped from his UFC 122 bout with Yushin Okami had little to do with him being injured, as was originally incorrectly reported by MMAWeekly, and a lot to do with Chael Sonnen being unable to face Anderson Silva at the UFC’s planned NYE show.

Although White didn’t tweet a date for the eventual showdown, the CP magic 8-ball points to the January 1 UFC 125 card that Sonnen was scheduled to face Silva on.

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