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Tag: Yushin Okami

Yushin Okami Officially the UFC’s Unluckiest Fighter

Yushin Okami
(This was going to be part of a new tourism campaign for the nation of Japan, but even they thought Okami was too boring.)

It’s not enough that Yushin Okami keeps getting overlooked in the UFC’s middleweight title picture.  Now an injury has forced him out his UFC 98 bout with Dan Miller, further pushing him into the land of the also-rans.  So who will replace Okami against the larger of the two Miller boys?  How about Ed Herman, who absolutely no one brings up when the conversation turns to guys who deserve a shot at Anderson Silva.  And the most telling part is, Herman vs. Miller feels like a fight that makes perfect sense.

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UFC Fight Bookings and Rumors: Okami/Miller, Johnson/Howard + More

Yushin Okami UFC MMA
("Another mid-level opponent who doesn’t put me any closer to a title shot? Sweet!")

— Well, at least the UFC hasn’t completely forgotten about Yushin Okami. The perennial top middleweight contender, who has won his last three fights against Jason MacDonald, Evan Tanner, and most recently Dean Lister in December, will reportedly be back in action at UFC 98 (May 23rd, Las Vegas) against Dan Miller. In his last 10 fights, Miller has gone 9-0 with one no-contest, and has been undefeated in the Octagon, picking up wins against Rob Kimmons, Matt Horwich, and Jake Rosholt. An impressive win for Okami would further cement his case for a title shot, though we get the feeling that "Thunder" would have to rack up a few consecutive wins by stoppage before the UFC finally gives him a chance. With Serra/Hughes now official, the UFC 98 card is lookin’ stacked.

— Exciting welterweight rising star Anthony Johnson and impressive prospect John Howard have agreed to meet at the TUF 9 finale in June. Johnson is riding a two-fight win streak after his first-round TKO over Luigi Fioravanti at last month’s UFC Fight Night 17, and his highlight-reel head-kick KO of Kevin "Pokey" Burns at the TUF 8 finale in December. A veteran of the IFL and various regional MMA leagues in the East Coast, Howard made his Octagon debut at UFC 94, winning a split decision against Chris Wilson and taking home one of the event’s Fight of the Night bonuses.

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Dean Lister Apologizes/Points Out He’s Still Better Than You


(‘I’m so mad I could pull guard right now.’)

There’s no getting around it, Dean Lister had a bad, bad night against Yushin Okami at UFC 92.  His offense consisted of pulling guard, a few token efforts at striking, and takedown attempts that only became more half-hearted as the fight wore on.  Not surprisingly, he lost the decision, was showered with boos from the fans, and got his release from the UFC afterwards.  

Now Lister has posted a message to the UG apologizing to his fans and teammates:

Listen I had a very poor performance my last fight. Truth is that I let my team and my gym, my friends and definitely myself down for this fight. Its not only that I lost but I really showed a poor performance. I had a much better showing against Arona (even though that was only primarily a grappling fight that I lost) even in Pride who is a better fighter than Okami for sure. Things just didnt come together for me this fight. I trained so, so hard, I really trained hard but it didnt work out.

Nice, right?  He owns up to his poor performance, apologizes to the people he let down, but it doesn’t stop there:

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UFC Quick Notes: Ireland, Okami, Parisyan + More

Yushin Okami Anderson Silva MMA UFC
(Photo courtesy of BoutReviewUSA.com.)

Yahoo! EuroSport is reporting that the UFC is finalizing arrangements on its first-ever second-ever event in Ireland. As the story goes, UFC 93 would be held January 17th at Dublin’s O2 Arena, and rumored fights include Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra, and Rich Franklin vs. Chuck Liddell or Mauricio Rua. The UFC already has an event planned for January 31st in Las Vegas, which will be headlined by the welterweight match between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn.

— Yushin Okami’s next fight won’t be against Anderson Silva after all; he’ll be facing Dean Lister at UFC 92 (December 27th, Las Vegas). Okami and Lister have both won their last two matches, and have been healing up from injuries — Okami with a hand injury that forced him to pull out of his rematch against Silva, and Lister with a tweaked knee that kept him out of a UFC Fight Night 15 match against Thales Leites.

— Despite Karo Parisyan’s questionable pull-out from UFC 88, the UFC has just locked “The Heat” into an eight-fight contract extension. Wonder if that includes naming rights to his first-born son…

— Gilbert Melendez only has one fight left on his Strikeforce contract, and has his eye on a move to the UFC: “I really do like Strikeforce, I think they’re a great organization and they took care of me, but I have other goals too, other dreams…[the UFC is] an organization I’ve always liked to be a part of and a lot of the guys in there I would want to fight.”

— The UFC has picked up former WEC light-heavyweight champions Brian Stann and Steve Cantwell in the wake of the WEC’s abolishment of the 185- and 205-pound weight classes. Stann and Cantwell have fought twice before, with each fighter scoring a win, and will meet for the third time at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” card on December 10th. Stann, who became the WEC’s light-heavyweight champ with a first-round knockout of Doug Marshall at WEC 33 in March, is a former U.S. Marine.

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GSP Is Not Worthy of Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva Georges St. Pierre GSP UFC

…so said Silva’s manager Ed Soares, when asked by ProMMARadio about a potential Georges St. Pierre/Anderson Silva superfight:

“That sounds great, I think GSP is an incredible fighter. But I think GSP needs to prove himself. He still hasn’t had a successful title defense (at 170 lbs.). I don’t really feel that he deserves (a Silva fight) yet. Go defend your title a few times and then we’ll talk.”

The thing is, St. Pierre has proven himself many times over to be an elite-level fighter, and Soares is veering uncomfortably close to Juanito Ibarra territory, wild statement-wise. But what makes his dismissal of GSP particularly ironic is that Spider’s next fight is likely going to be against Patrick Cote, who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as Silva or GSP. With Yushin Okami suffering a broken hand, Cote is really and truly next in line for a title shot; that little shitshow could happen at UFC 88 (September 6th, Atlanta).

A relatively one-dimensional striker, Cote doesn’t bring any more to the table than James Irvin did, and their bout will almost certainly be another brief exhibition for Silva. The silver lining is that with this belt-defense obligation out of the way quickly, Silva will be free to “test the waters” at light-heavyweight again — and he does plan on fighting at least one more time before the end of the year.

Sort of related: “UFC Silva vs. Irvin” was a ratings smash. The broadcast averaged 3.1 million viewers, peaked at 3.8 million viewers, and according to SpikeTV, beat all basic cable and broadcast networks in that timeslot for the “males 18-49″ and “males/females 18-34″ demographics.

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Silva’s Next Title Defenses Scheduled; Cleared to Hold MW and LHW Belts Simultaneously

Anderson Silva UFC

Barring any unexpected defeats or freak injuries, Anderson Silva will fight at least three more times by the year’s end, Dana White said in a press conference held yesterday. First, of course, is his light-heavyweight debut against James Irvin at UFN 14 on July 19th. Said White:

“If everything goes well, he wants to move back to 185 and fight Sept. 6 in Atlanta [at UFC 88], probably against Yushin Okami, then he wants to fight again two months later.”

And who might that next opponent be?

“(Ricardo Almeida) and Patrick Cote are going to fight on Saturday night and see who’s next in line for Anderson Silva’s 185-pound title,” said White.

The long-term plan is for Silva to keep testing the waters at 205, in preparation for an eventual run at the title. And for the first time in the UFC’s history, one of its champions would be allowed to hold two titles at the same time. “Normally I won’t let guys do stuff like that because it’s just…stupid,” White said. “I’ll let Anderson Silva do it.”

Anyway, this has to be bittersweet for Almeida and Cote. The good news is that the winner of their fight is getting an immediate title shot; the bad news, of course, is that the winner is slated to get the worst beating of his life in November. I’m not saying that throwing the fight intentionally and leaving the country for a while would be the best idea, but it’s probably not the worst either.

(Props: MMA Weekly)

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Diaz, Alexander Booked for UFC Fight Night 14

Nathan Diaz UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of myspace.com/nathandiazmma.)

The UFC’s next “Fight Night” card on SpikeTV will reportedly go down September 17th at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska, and matchups are beginning to be sorted out. TUF 5 winner and Stockton-repper Nate Diaz has agreed to fight Josh “The Dentist” Neer in a lightweight bout on the main card; Diaz has gone 4-0 in the UFC since his reality show stint, including a legendary no-hands triangle choke victory over Kurt Pellegrino at UFN 13, while Neer (24-6-1, 3-3 UFC) last defeated Din Thomas by decision at the same event, and holds notable wins over Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard.

Omaha’s own Houston Alexander is also expected to appear, taking on Eric Schafer. The fight marks Schafer’s return to the Octagon after picking up a couple of wins in the Gladiators Fighting Series organization; he’d previously dropped two in a row to Michael Bisping and Stephan Bonnar. A middleweight fight between Ed Herman and Alan Belcher has been rumored as well.

In other UFC news…

Dana White has denied that his mind-blowing announcement is related to New York MMA regulation. Epic Fail averted, for now.

BloodyElbow is floating a rumor that Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami could fight in October, at the UFC’s next U.K. show. We’d rather see the Spider in a light-heavyweight super-fight, but sure, why not, clean out the division once and for all.

— French welterweight David Baron has reportedly signed with the UFC. Baron is the former 168-pound champion of Shooto Europe who most recently pulled off a huge upset at Shooto Tradition 1 by submitting Hayato Sakurai in the first round.

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Anderson Silva Wants “Cowardly” Okami


(Yushin Okami)

Who Anderson Silva should fight next is current debate among MMA fans. Silva himself seems bored with the weak competition and has even got his eye on going toe-to-toe with champion – or ex-champion – boxers. On the MMA side of things, the name that keeps popping up to fight Silva is Yushin Okami, the middleweight that beat The Spider via disqualification a little over two years ago in a Rumble on the Rock tournament. Silva spoke to Sherdog recently – via his manager, Ed Soares – and is non too pleased with the Okami win.

Silva was dominating the fight. When Silva went to his back, Okami got in some of his best strikes of the bout. But an upkick from The Spider connected with Okami’s mug, sending the fighter back. Troy “Rude Boy” Mandaloniz held Silva back from exacting more pain to Okami. Why did “Rude Boy” hold Silva back, you ask? He was the ref for the match. That’ll for sure be a question in Trivial Pursuit: MMA, so remember it. Anyway, Okami couldn’t recover and the DQ gave him the win.

Silva has a different point of view:

“I feel it was a cheap, cowardly way of winning,” a pointed Silva says more than two years after the scrap. “People that were there saw that he was in the condition to come back and keep fighting, and he didn’t.”

Silva says he doesn’t “really think much of anything of Okami,” but the Brazilian was more poised when stuck under Henderson than he is when discussing the Japanese fighter.

“It wasn’t really a fight,” Silva describes the disqualification loss before adding that he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

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UFC 82 Videos: Koscheck/Hazelett, Arlovski/O’Brien, and More

Josh Koscheck vs. Dustin Hazelett, the best fight of the undercard. Awesome exchanges in the beginning, explosive finish at the end.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Jake O’Brien. Feel free to skip past the entire first round.

More fights after the jump…

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Yushin Okami: Americans Are Pussies

YO
(Okami: The new Ivan Drago)

Suki MMA has translated Yushin Okami’s latest blog post, in which the Japanese UFC middleweight contender gives his thoughts on UFC 81:

Minotauro was terrific. That sweep was artistic. I was amazed to see his mental strength and his submission techniques. I found a lot to learn from his fight. I was also surprised to see how quick Sylvia gave up and tapped out though. It seems the American style.

Oh, you bastard. I can only hope that the collective chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” fill Evan Tanner with enough patriotic fury to wipe the mat with Okami next month. First of all, giving up is not the American style. I think Okami was forgetting something when he wrote this blog post. Namely:

Colors

Flag-faced eagle speaks the truth! As Tom Petty has said many times before, you could stand us up at the gates of hell, but we, won’t back down. And by the way, using Tim Sylvia to represent the fighting spirit of our entire nation? Not cool.

Unrelated, but also notable on Suki’s blog: Shinya Aoki recently met with his tights designer, meaning that it won’t be long until his next fight. Yatta!

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