has waited more than five years for this moment. Now, his rematch with UFC
middleweight champion Anderson Silva
sits but a breath away.
Okami -- the last man to defeat the pound-for-pound great, albeit by disqualification in 2006 -- checked in at 183 pounds for his five-round battle with the incomparable Silva (184) in the UFC 134 main event on Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The eight other men slotted for main card duty, including co-headliners Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) and Forrest Griffin (205), also met their contracted weight requirements without issue at Friday’s official weigh-in.
On an unprecedented streak of success, Silva (Pictured, File Photo) has rattled off 14 consecutive victories, a record 13 of them inside the Octagon. The 36-year-old last appeared at UFC 126 in February, when he leveled Vitor Belfort with a dazzling front kick to the face and follow-up punches at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. A devastating finisher, Silva has secured 23 of his 30 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission, a staggering 17 of them inside one round. Destined to go down as one of the all-time greats, Silva has never suffered consecutive defeats in more than 14 years as a professional. Wins over former middleweight King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt, onetime UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (twice), former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Dan Henderson, former UFC light heavyweight boss Forrest Griffin, 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Demian Maia and the world-ranked Chael Sonnen buoy his stellar resume.
Okami, who holds a 10-2 mark in the UFC, will carry a three-fight winning streak into the most significant bout of his career. The 30-year-old judo black belt last competed at UFC 122 in November, when he outpointed Marquardt en route to a unanimous decision at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. In 31 professional appearances, Okami has been finished only once -- by Amar Suloev in October 2003. Like Silva, the Japanese standout has never lost back-to-back fights.
UFC 134 “Silva vs. Okami” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT – will also feature a heavyweight duel pairing former Pride titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (243) with “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 finalist Brendan Schaub (247), a lightweight tilt pitting “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson (155) against undefeated prospect Edson Barboza (155) and a light heavyweight bout matching Luiz Cane (204) with unbeaten Bulgarian import Stanislav Nedkov (203). An hour prior, Spike TV will carry a pair of preliminary fights, as Thiago Tavares (156) takes on Spencer Fisher (156) and leg lock connoisseur Rousimar Palhares (185) meets former International Fight League middleweight champion Dan Miller (184).
Meanwhile, the five remaining preliminary bouts will be streamed on the UFC’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT: Paulo Thiago (169) vs. David Mitchell (171), Raphael Assuncao (134) vs. Johnny Eduardo (135), Erick Silva (169) vs. Luis Ramos (171), Yuri Alcantara (144) vs. Felipe Arantes (145) and Yves Jabouin (135) vs. Ian Loveland (135).
Anderson Silva (184) vs. Yushin Okami (183)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) vs. Forrest Griffin (205) view original article >>
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (243) vs. Brendan Schaub (247)
Ross Pearson (155) vs. Edson Barboza (155)
Luiz Cane (204) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (203)
Thiago Tavares (156) vs. Spencer Fisher (156)
Rousimar Palhares (185) vs. Dan Miller (184)
Paulo Thiago (169) vs. David Mitchell (171)
Raphael Assuncao (134) vs. Johnny Eduardo (135)
Erick Silva (169) vs. Luis Ramos (171)
Yuri Alcantara (144) vs. Felipe Arantes (145)
Yves Jabouin (135) vs. Ian Loveland (135)