Silva (Pictured) and Yushin Okami
may finally have a date for their long-awaited rematch, and it
appears the fight could take place on the Brazilian’s home
Silva’s training partner, heavyweight Antonio
Rodrigo Nogueira, wrote in his weekly column for Brazilian
newspaper O Globo on Saturday that Okami will challenge “The
Spider” for the UFC middleweight title at “UFC Rio.”
The event, officially announced by the promotion in December, takes
place Aug. 27 at the 18,000-seat HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
In January 2006, Okami and Silva met for the first time in a
now-infamous Rumble on the Rock bout in Honolulu. Midway through
the opening round, Okami knelt in Silva’s guard when he was drilled
by a vicious -- and illegal -- upkick that knocked the Japanese
standout senseless. Okami was awarded the win by disqualification
in what remains the only blemish on Silva’s record since 2005.
Silva, 35, has rattled off 14 consecutive wins since losing to
Okami, including an unprecedented 13 straight victories inside the
Octagon and eight defenses of his UFC title. Widely considered the
best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA today, Silva’s resume is
anchored by wins against the likes of Dan
Marquardt and Rich
Franklin (twice). The Curitibano was last seen in February,
when he demolished challenger Vitor
Belfort with a front kick to the face at UFC 126.
Since his first meeting with Silva, the 29-year-old Okami has gone
12-3, with a 10-2 UFC record since joining the promotion in August
2006. “Thunder” was previously expected to challenge for Silva’s
title at UFC 90 in October 2008, but was forced to withdraw due to
a hand injury and was replaced by Patrick
Cote. Okami currently rides a three-fight win streak, including
his title shot-clinching unanimous decision nod over Marquardt at
November’s UFC 122.
Marcelo Alonso contributed to this report.