Okami cut after recent loss

Once heralded by UFC President Dana White as “the best

fighter to ever come out of Japan,” former middleweight title

challenger Yushin Okami (29-8) has been released by the UFC.

A fixture in the division since making his organizational debut

with a win over Alan Belcher at UFC 62, the Japanese veteran

compiled a 13-5 record inside the Octagon, including wins over Mike

Swick, Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt, and, most recently, Hector


In August 2011, Okami squared off with then middleweight

champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 134, the

company’s first show in Brazil in over a decade, losing in

his bid to claim championship gold. An upset loss to Tim Boetsch at

UFC 144 followed, but Okami was able to rebound, stringing together

three consecutive victories, re-affirming his standing as one of

the top competitors in the weight class.

Earlier this month, Okami suffered the eighth loss of his

career, falling to former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo

“Jacare” Souza in the first round of the Ultimate Fight

Night 28 co-main event in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Despite his overall success in the cage, Okami has long been

criticized for his grappling-heavy approach, which, while

effective, has never been the most appealing to fans. Of his 13

career UFC wins, eight came by way of decision, while he has been

stopped in each of his last three losses.

Currently ranked sixth in the Official UFC Fighter Rankings,

Okami becomes a victim of a bloated roster, but at age 32, will

likely draw interest from several other organizations now that he

has become a free agent.

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