Okami is the Forgotten Man

Written by Tom Ngo
June 4th, 2009


UFC middleweight Yushin Okami was once considered a top contender to Anderson Silva’s untouchable crown. However, the talented Japanese fighter was hit with a case of the injury bug, and his career appears to be at a stand-still.

His big break was supposed to come after he defeated the late Evan Tanner at UFC 82 back in March of last year. With a title shot against Silva slated for UFC 90, the talented Japanese fighter kicked his training into high gear.

Unfortunately, it was accelerated a little bit too intensely as he broke his hand during training and was forced to pull out of his 5Round affair. Patrick Cote gladly stepped in to challenge Silva for his strap.

Okami made a successful return at UFC 92 dominating Dean Lister, and he hoped to continue that momentum into his next fight against the talented Dan Miller at this month’s UFC 98 event. However he suffered yet another injury that kept him out of action, this time a torn knee ligament.

“I really wanted to fight (against Miller), but the doctor had stopped me,” Okami stated. “He told me I would recover by June if I sit still. Currently I’m focused on upper-body training, and by July I will be back to my usual regimen. I want to get back into the Octagon, if possible, to fight in September.”

At 23-4, there is no denying Okami’s talents. In fact, most forget that he holds a controversial win over Silva back in January of 2006 when he ate an illegal knee to the dome. However, like the other pundits in the MMA community, Okami doesn’t consider that a legit victory.

“The records say I won, but I really lost the match,” Okami said. “But I believe because of this fight, I’ve grown stronger. The next time I fight him things will be different. I am confident of that.”

So that leaves Okami to play the waiting game. Not too big of a deal since he has already been doing it his entire career.

Don’t forget to follow 5thRound.com on Twitter at twitter.com/5thRound.

(Tell us what you think about 5thRound.com by emailing us Here or posting in our Forums)

Don’t forget to follow @5thRound on Twitter, Facebook and Google+!