Yushin Okami

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Yushin Okami
岡見 勇信
Born (1981-07-21) July 21, 1981 (age 33)
Kanagawa, Japan
Native name 岡見 勇信
Other names Thunder
Nationality Japanese
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Division Middleweight
Reach 75.0 in (191 cm)
Fighting out of Kanagawa, Japan
Team Wajyutsu Keisyukai
Team Quest
Rank Black belt in Judo
Years active 2002 – present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 39
Wins 30
By knockout 10
By submission 5
By decision 14
By disqualification 1
Losses 9
By knockout 5
By decision 4
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Yushin Okami (岡見 勇信 Okami Yūshin?, born July 21, 1981) is a Japanese mixed martial artist who competes for World Series of Fighting in the Middleweight division. As of June 15, 2014, he is ranked the #9 Middleweight in the world by Sherdog.[2] He spent time in the UFC, holding a record of 13-5 in 18 fights under the organization's banner, and has also competed for the PRIDE Fighting Championships, Pancrase, and M-1 Global.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

As an amateur, Okami fought in the pre-Pride 4 tournament, defeating two opponents before submitting Yuuki Tsutsui in the finals via triangle choke to win the tournament. He began his professional career in 2002, fighting in the GCM promotion and Pancrase as well as making an appearance at Pride The Best Vol.3, amassing a professional record of 6–0. In 2003 he competed in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, but was defeated by Matt Lindland. Also in 2003, he suffered his first professional MMA loss to Amar Suloev.[3]

Okami continued fighting in multiple promotions before arriving at Rumble on the Rock, where he entered a 175 lb tournament. Anderson Silva, Frank Trigg, Renato Verissimo, and Jake Shields also competed in the tournament. In the opening round, Okami fought the future UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Silva controlled the fight on the feet before Okami secured a takedown. Okami landed a few blows from top position before Silva landed an illegal upkick to Okami's chin while both fighters were grounded, and Silva was in the guard position. Okami's knees were on the ground at the time, making the attack an illegal strike to the head of a downed opponent. Silva later said that the rule had not been properly explained to him before the bout. "When I fought Okami the rules really weren't explained to me properly in the event I was fighting in," said Silva. "You could kick a downed opponent to the groin or to the head when your back's on the ground. So the rules weren't explained to me properly."[4] Referee Troy Mandaloniz held Silva back, and gave the dazed Okami time to recover. Okami could not recover and the fight was declared a disqualification victory for Okami. Silva responded by asserting he "felt it was a cheap, cowardly way of winning," and that "people that were there saw that he was in the condition to come back and keep fighting, and he didn't."[5] Moving on to the next round, he faced the future EliteXC welterweight and Strikeforce Middleweight champion Jake Shields, a tournament favorite. Okami lost a hard-fought majority decision to Shields, who went on to win the tournament.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

2006–2007[edit]

By 2006, Okami had amassed a record of 16–3 and was the third-ranked Pancrase middleweight fighter. He signed with the UFC and made his debut in the organization on the undercard of UFC 62, defeating Alan Belcher by unanimous decision. He followed up less than two months later with a bout against Kalib Starnes at UFC 64. He defeated Starnes by TKO due to strikes in the third round. Okami then signed on to make his third appearance in four months at UFC 66. His original opponent was to be David Terrell, but Terrell withdrew due to an elbow injury and was replaced by Rory Singer.[6] Okami defeated Singer by submission due to strikes late in the third round.

After three victories in the UFC, Okami made his main card and broadcast debut at UFC 69 against Mike Swick, who was riding a five-fight win streak in the UFC at the time. Okami won the bout via unanimous decision. Okami then participated in the 2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship in the 87 kg (191 lb) division, but lost to eventual division winner Demian Maia. In the UFC, however, Okami was riding a four-fight win streak. In his next bout, he faced former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin at UFC 72 for the position of the #1 contender in the middleweight division. Franklin controlled the first two rounds, but Okami nearly sunk in a kimura in the third. Ultimately all three judges scored the bout 29–28 in Franklin's favor.

2008–2009[edit]

Okami next faced Jason MacDonald at UFC 77. MacDonald had also defeated Singer and lost to Franklin in his two previous bouts. Though Dana White said that the winner might earn a title shot, the fight was placed on the undercard, possibly due to the fighters' lack of fan support.[7] Okami dominated the fight with superior stand-up, takedown defense, and ground control en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Okami next faced former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner in Tanner's first fight in two years. The fight occurred at UFC 82 on March 1, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. After dropping Tanner with a straight left in round 1, Okami landed a knee in the Muay Thai clinch position that knocked out Tanner 3 minutes into round 2.

Okami was scheduled for a rematch with Anderson Silva for the middleweight title at UFC 90, but he was forced to drop out of the bout due to a broken hand. Patrick Côté was chosen to replace him.> After his recovery, Okami faced 2003 ADCC Absolute Division gold medalist Dean Lister at UFC 92 and earned a unanimous decision. Lister made frequent attempts to pull guard and take Okami down to the ground, but was not able to secure any submissions. The bout was considered tedious by spectators, but Okami was victorious.

Okami was next scheduled to return at UFC 98 against Dan Miller, but suffered a torn ligament and was not able to compete.[8]

Okami was next scheduled to return at UFC 104 against Chael Sonnen.[9] Okami lost to Sonnen via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27). After the fight, Okami trained at Team Quest with Sonnen for one month before returning to Japan.[10] Sonnen stated in an interview “I want to say hello to my brother, Yushin through this interview. I am saddened that he returned to Japan – it feels like I parted with a close friend. Though Yushin lost against me, he came forward and asked to train with me: Is this a Japanese thing? It is admirable that he tried to learn from an opponent who defeated him. While at Team Quest in Portland, he thoroughly handled me during training. I was lucky that I managed to defeat him in our fight. I probably won’t agree to a rematch with him (laughs). The one fighter whom I never want to fight again – that is Yushin Okami.”

2010–2011[edit]

Okami defeated Lucio Linhares via TKO doctor stoppage at UFC Fight Night 21.[11] In his fight with Linhares, Okami showcased much improved striking skills which led to the stoppage.

On August 1, 2010 Okami defeated Mark Muñoz via split decision in the co-main event at UFC Live on Versus: 2. Okami was able to stuff most of Muñoz's takedowns and kept the fight standing where he showed superior striking, stunning Muñoz in the third round with a straight right counter.

Okami was expected to face Vitor Belfort on November 13, 2010 at UFC 122, with the winner facing Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship.[12] Belfort was then pulled from the fight, and Nate Marquardt was tapped to make a quick return to the Octagon to face Okami.[13][14] Okami was able to control the center of the octagon and dictate the pace of the fight en route to a unanimous decision victory in what was a closely contested bout.

Okami faced Anderson Silva at UFC 134 on August 27, 2011 for the UFC Middleweight Championship.[15] In this match, Okami was rocked badly by a headkick in the first round. In the second round, Okami was dropped by a straight-right and then dropped again this time by a right hook. He was finished and defeated via TKO in the 2nd round.

2012–2013[edit]

Okami next faced Tim Boetsch on February 26, 2012 at UFC 144.[16] While Okami dominated the first two rounds, Boetsch claimed one of the biggest upsets of 2012 in Okami's home country in a brutal flurry of uppercuts from the clinch that left Okami losing in a devastating TKO comeback win for Boetsch in the final frame.

Okami was expected to face Luiz Cane on August 11, 2012 at UFC 150.[17] However, Cane was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Rousimar Palhares.[18] Palhares was also injured and replaced by Buddy Roberts.[19] Okami won the fight via TKO in the second round.

A rematch with Alan Belcher took place on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155.[20] Okami won via unanimous decision for the second time.

Okami next faced former Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard at UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann on March 3, 2013.[21] Okami won the bout via split decision.

Okami faced Ronaldo Souza on September 4, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 28.[22] He lost the fight via KO in the first round. Souza came out and rocked Okami then shoved him in to the cage throwing flurries of punches. Okami got back to the center of the cage but Souza quickly hunted him down and unleashed a devastating overhand right dropping Okami then he proceeded to finish the fight with brutal ground and pound.

Despite of being ranked as a top 10 middleweight by most sources, Okami was released by the UFC on September 27, 2013.[23] When asked via Twitter why he released Okami, UFC President Dana White remarked "Our roster is packed".[24] When asked by Yahoo Sports why he was releasing a highly ranked fighter who had won 3 of his last 4 bouts, White responded: "He was always a tough guy and was right up there, but it's almost like he'd become a gatekeeper. I like Okami, and you've heard me say this many times, that a win over Yushin Okami meant something ... But he was never able to get over the hump and win one of those [significant] fights. We have a lot of guys coming in and I've been saying this all year: We have a full roster and there are guys who deserve opportunities. When you bring guys in, someone has to go. That's why these fights are so meaningful." [25]

World Series of Fighting[edit]

On October 13, 2013, it was announced that Okami signed with World Series of Fighting.[26]

Okami made his WSOF debut at WSOF 9, on March 29 2014, against Svetlozar Savov.[27][28] He won via arm triangle choke submission in the second round.

In his second fight for the promotion, Okami faced David Branch for the WSOF middleweight championship at WSOF 15 on November 15, 2014.[29] He lost the fight via TKO in the fourth round.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 30–9 David Branch TKO (punches) WSOF 15 November 15, 2014 4 3:39 Tampa, Florida, United States For WSOF Middleweight Championship.
Win 30–8 Svetlozar Savov Submission (arm-triangle choke) WSOF 9 March 29, 2014 2 4:46 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 29–8 Ronaldo Souza TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader September 4, 2013 1 2:47 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Win 29–7 Hector Lombard Decision (split) UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann March 3, 2013 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 28–7 Alan Belcher Decision (unanimous) UFC 155 December 29, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 27–7 Buddy Roberts TKO (punches) UFC 150 August 11, 2012 2 3:05 Denver, Colorado, United States
Loss 26–7 Tim Boetsch TKO (punches) UFC 144 February 26, 2012 3 0:54 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 26–6 Anderson Silva TKO (punches) UFC 134 August 27, 2011 2 2:04 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil For the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 26-5 Nate Marquardt Decision (unanimous) UFC 122 November 13, 2010 3 5:00 Oberhausen, Germany UFC Middleweight title eliminator.
Win 25–5 Mark Muñoz Decision (split) UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko August 1, 2010 3 5:00 San Diego, California, United States
Win 24–5 Lucio Linhares TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi March 31, 2010 2 2:47 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Loss 23–5 Chael Sonnen Decision (unanimous) UFC 104 October 24, 2009 3 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 23–4 Dean Lister Decision (unanimous) UFC 92 December 27, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 22–4 Evan Tanner KO (knee) UFC 82 March 1, 2008 2 3:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Win 21–4 Jason MacDonald Decision (unanimous) UFC 77 October 20, 2007 3 5:00 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Loss 20–4 Rich Franklin Decision (unanimous) UFC 72 June 16, 2007 3 5:00 Belfast, Northern Ireland UFC Middleweight title eliminator.
Win 20–3 Mike Swick Decision (unanimous) UFC 69 April 7, 2007 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 19–3 Rory Singer Submission (punches) UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz December 30, 2006 3 4:03 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 18–3 Kalib Starnes TKO (punches) UFC 64: Unstoppable October 14, 2006 3 1:40 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 17–3 Alan Belcher Decision (unanimous) UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral August 26, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 16–3 Izuru Takeuchi TKO (punches) GCM: D.O.G. 6 June 11, 2006 1 3:39 Tokyo, Japan
Win 15–3 Ji Won Bang TKO (punches) MARS: World Grand Prix May 13, 2006 1 4:38 Chiba, Japan
Loss 14–3 Jake Shields Decision (majority) Rumble on the Rock 9 April 21, 2006 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States ROTR WW Tournament Second Round
Win 14–2 Anderson Silva DQ (illegal upkick) Rumble on the Rock 8 January 20, 2006 1 2:33 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States ROTR WW Tournament Opening Round
Win 13–2 Myun Joo Lee TKO (corner stoppage) Hero's 2005 in Seoul November 5, 2005 1 4:14 Seoul, South Korea
Win 12–2 Damien Riccio TKO (punches) GCM: D.O.G. 3 September 17, 2005 2 2:44 Tokyo, Japan
Win 11–2 Nick Thompson Submission (elbow injury) GCM: D.O.G. 2 June 11, 2005 1 0:29 Tokyo, Japan
Win 10–2 Brian Foster Submission (arm-triangle choke) GCM: D.O.G. 1 March 12, 2005 3 2:53 Tokyo, Japan
Win 9–2 Eiji Ishikawa Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Brave 9 October 12, 2004 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 8–2 Falaniko Vitale Decision (split) SuperBrawl 36 June 18, 2004 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 8–1 Ryuta Sakurai Decision (unanimous) Pride Bushido 2 February 15, 2004 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 7–1 Kousei Kubota TKO (punches) GCM: Demolition 13 January 18, 2004 1 1:47 Japan
Loss 6–1 Amar Suloev TKO (punches) M-1 MFC - Russia vs. the World 6 October 10, 2003 1 4:44 Moscow, Russia
Win 6–0 Kazuhiro Hanada TKO (punches) GCM: Demolition 9 July 21, 2003 1 4:47 Yokohama, Japan
Win 5–0 Hidehiko Hasegawa Decision (unanimous) GCM: Demolition 7 May 1, 2003 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 4–0 Hikaru Sato Decision (unanimous) Pancrase - Hybrid 1 January 26, 2003 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 3–0 Sen Nakadai Decision (unanimous) Pancrase - Spirit 8 November 30, 2002 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 2–0 Steve White Submission (punches) Pride The Best Vol.3 October 20, 2002 2 3:25 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Kyosuke Sasaki Decision (unanimous) GCM: Demolition 1 September 8, 2002 2 5:00 Japan

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yushin Okami UFC profile; ufc.com
  2. ^ "Sherdog's Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". sherdog.com. 
  3. ^ "UFC 62: Liddell-Sobral II and a TUF Rematch". Sherdog.com. August 25, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  4. ^ Martin, Damon (March 4, 2008). "Is Yushin Okami next for Anderson Silva?". MMAweekly.com. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ Gross, Josh (February 4, 2008). "'Spider' Silva still angry with Okami". Sherdog. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ White, Scott (November 23, 2006). "Singer Replaces Terrell". MMA On Tap. 
  7. ^ Strupp, Dan (October 12, 2007). "UFC 77: Yushin Okami vs. Jason MacDonald Possibly for Title Shot". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  8. ^ Ultimate Fighting Championship. Ufc.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  9. ^ "Yushin Okami vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight bout set for UFC 104 in Los Angeles". mmajunkie.com. July 17, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Exclusive: Sonnen Brings in Okami to 'Anchor' his Training Camp for UFC 109 Fight Against Marquardt". cagepotato.com. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Yushin Okami vs. Lucio Linhares targeted for UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31". MMAJunkie.com. January 18, 2010. Retrieved January 18, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Vitor Belfort vs. Yushin Okami Headlines UFC 122 in Germany". f4wonline.com. August 28, 2010. 
  13. ^ "BELFORT OUT OF UFC 122; MARQUARDT STEPS IN". MMAWeekly.com. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  14. ^ "UFC 122 Results and Review: Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami". MMAWeekly.com. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  15. ^ "UFC Rio: Silva vs. Okami". UFC.com. August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  16. ^ "Yushin Okami meets Tim Boetsch at UFC 144 in Japan". mmajunkie.com. November 15, 2011. 
  17. ^ "UFC 150: Cane vs Okami added to August 11 event in Denver". mmamania.com. April 27, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Rousimar Palhares replaces Luiz Cane against Yushin Okami at UFC 150". mmajunkie.com. June 18, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Rousimar Palhares Out; Buddy Roberts In Against Yushin Okami at UFC 150". MMAWeekly.com. July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami II on tap for UFC 155 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.com. September 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami added to March's UFC on FUEL TV 8 event in Japan". mmajunkie.com. January 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ Mike Bohn (June 23, 2013). "Yushin Okami vs. Ronaldo Souza in the works for UFC on FOX Sports 1 #3". mmamania.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ John Morgan (September 27, 2013). "UFC releases onetime middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami". mmajunkie.com. 
  24. ^ http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/9/27/4778232/yushin-okami-released-from-the-ufc
  25. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1790667-dana-white-on-cutting-yushin-okami-its-almost-like-hed-become-a-gatekeeper
  26. ^ Gleidson Venga (October 13, 2013). "Yushin Okami signs with WSOF". Sherdog.com. 
  27. ^ "World Series of Fighting Announces Yushin Okami’s Debut for WSOF 9 in Las Vegas". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  28. ^ Dave Walsh (March 4, 2014). "Yushin Okami Makes His WSoF Debut on March 29th". mmanuts.com. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  29. ^ "David Branch defends middleweight belt vs. Yushin Okami at WSOF 15". mmajunkie.com. July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]