Yushin Okami

What’s Next After UFC 150?

Frankie Edgar. Photo courtesy of Complex Magazine.

Whether we agree with it or not, Benson Henderson is still the UFC lightweight champion and Frankie Edgar is headed back to the drawing board for the first time in four years.

UFC 150 provided us with another potential storm of controversy at 155 lbs, but UFC president Dana White is determined to move forward within the division. At this point, who can blame him? The title’s last six defenses have featured the same four fighters.

So as promised, Henderson will defend the belt against top contender Nate Diaz later this year, while Edgar faces a multitude of questions regarding his future, none more prevalent than the option to drop to featherweight – a move that would appease many.

What about the other fighters that competed in Denver this past weekend? Well, here’s a list of potential matchups the UFC could make down the line.

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Video: UFC 134 Extended Preview

Here's an extended preview of the UFC's return to Brazil next Saturday for UFC 134, which takes place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and is headlined by a UFC middleweight title bout between reigning champion Anderson Silva and the last man to hand him a loss, number one contender Yushin Okami.

Fight of the Day: Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami

From the first round of Rumble on the Rock’s middleweight tournament in January 2006, here’s Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami.

Evans, Mir Steal Belts at UFC 92


Rashad Evans. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Rashad Evans scored a third-round stoppage of fellow “Ultimate Fighter” winner Forrest Griffin to claim the UFC light heavyweight title while Frank Mir put on the best performance of his career in defeating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to recapture a piece of the UFC heavyweight belt that he once owned at UFC 92.

Evans came into his showdown with Griffin as an extremely slight underdog and the first two rounds of the bout were just as close. Both fighters connected with a mix of punches and kicks with great frequency, but Griffin likely escaped the first ten minutes with an edge on the judge’s scorecards.

A combination of a slip and a grazing right hand from Evans caused Griffin to fall to the canvas at the start of the third round. Evans, a former collegiate wrestler at Michigan State University, pounced on Griffin and landed some punches until the champion was able to tighten things up on the ground.

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UFC 92: Quick Results


Frank Mir. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Two championships changed hands Saturday night in Las Vegas as Rashad Evans and Frank Mir each scored impressive stoppages over Forrest Griffin and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira respectively in the two featured bouts at the UFC’s annual year-end show. A full recap of the event will be posted shortly.

Complete results from the fight card:

Patrick Barry def. Dan Evensen - TKO (Leg Kicks)
Brad Blackburn def. Ryo Chonan - Unanimous Decision
Matt Hamill def. Reese Andy - TKO (Strikes)
Antoni Hardonk def. Mike Wessel - TKO (Strikes)
Yushin Okami def. Dean Lister - Unanimous Decision
Cheick Kongo def. Mustapha al Turk - TKO (Strikes)
Quinton Jackson def. Wanderlei Silva - KO (Punch)
CB Dollaway def. Mike Massenzio - TKO (Strikes)
Frank Mir def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - TKO (Strikes)
Rashad Evans def. Forrest Griffin - Submission (Strikes)

Undercard Announced for UFC 92


Yushin Okami. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship yesterday announced the seven-bout undercard for UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008, which will take place on December 27 in Las Vegas. The event will be headlined by Forrest Griffin making his first UFC light heavyweight title defense against Rashad Evans. “Ultimate Fighter 8” coaches Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir will clash for the interim UFC heavyweight belt and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will rematch Wanderlei Silva as well.

Among the undercard fights announced were two matchups that will take place on the televised pay-per-view portion of the fight card: C.B. Dollaway, the runner-up in the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, will take on former IFL middleweight Mike Massenzio and heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo will face his second straight UFC newcomer in Cage Rage veteran Mustapha Al-Turk.

The five preliminary bouts will be spearheaded by a middleweight battle between Yushin Okami and Dean Lister where the winner could get the next shot at Anderson Silva’s UFC middleweight title in the near future. Additional non-televised bouts include Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy, Antoni Hardonk vs. Mark Burch, Ryo Chonan vs. Brad Blackburn, and Dan Evensen vs. Pat Barry.

Report: Okami-Lister Signed for UFC 92


Yushin Okami. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Yushin Okami and Dean Lister will reportedly each return from recent injuries and face each other on the main card of UFC 92, which takes place on December 27 in Las Vegas, according to MMA Weekly.

Lister and members of his management team confirmed the matchup yesterday. With both fighters currently on winning streaks in the UFC’s middleweight division, the victor of this bout could be on the fast track to a title shot against the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote next month, especially Okami, who was unofficially scheduled to face Silva on October 25 before suffering a broken hand.

Prior to his injury, Okami had won his last two fights, most recently a second-round knockout of Evan Tanner at UFC 82 in March. Lister was forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 15 after suffering a knee injury during training. He last submitted Jeremy Horn with a guillotine choke at “The Ultimate Fighter 7” Finale in June.

Report: Okami Suffers Another Broken Hand


Yushin Okami. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Bad news for those who were craving a potential rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and top contender Yushin Okami later this year - it seems that Okami has suffered yet another broken hand that will keep him sidelined for an indefinite amount of time.

The news comes from our friend Ariel Helwani at MMARated.com, who reports that Okami suffered the injury during a recent training session. It’s unknown if the broken hand is the same one that Okami injured in his knockout win over former title holder Evan Tanner earlier this year.

Silva and Okami originally fought during the first-round of Rumble on the Rock’s star-filled middleweight tournament two years ago. In a fight that Silva dominated, he ended up being disqualified after illegally up-kicking Okami while he still had a knee on the canvas. Okami was knocked out and unable to continue, forcing Silva to make an early exit from the tourney.

Helwani also reports that since Okami may not be able to compete until the end of the year, UFC officials may matchup Silva against streaking Canadian veteran Patrick Cote at an event this fall, provided that Silva comes out of his light heavyweight contest against James Irvin this weekend relatively unscathed.

UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes

Some brief thoughts and notes from last night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion…

Full audio of the post-fight press conference here courtesy of Steve Cofield. Sam Caplan gives his take here, here, and here. Michael Rome here. Brian Knapp here.

Official news and numbers

Let’s get straight down to the facts. The official attendance inside the Nationwide Arena was 16,431. The live gate is expected to be somewhere around $2.2 million.

Fight of the Night honors went to Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson, who each received $60,000. Silva also earned $60,000 for submission of the night. Chris Leben won the same amount for his stoppage of Alessio Sakara.

Josh Koscheck and Yushin Okami both suffered separate hand injuries in their fights. Both Koscheck and Andrei Arlovski completed the last fights on their respective contracts with the UFC and are now officially free agents.

Silva looks unstoppable

I said before last night that if Anderson Silva dispatched of Dan Henderson easily, then I’d go ahead and claim that he is unstoppable. He is. He’s completely cleaned out the entire middleweight division. I was long a proponent that guys using the Team Quest style of fighting were bad matchups for Silva but obviously that isn’t the case. Silva shows us an entire new dimension of his game every time out.

While a rematch against Okami (who is now pretty much the top contender unless the UFC plans on bringing someone else in or creating a new plan) is intriguing, it’s pretty much set in stone that Silva would pick him apart on the feet. I don’t necessarily agree with Dana White’s constant statement that Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport completely, but I will say that he’s getting dangerously close to achieving that honor.

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Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed


Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.

Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.

Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.

Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.

Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.

“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”

“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”

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