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Yushin Okami guaranteed title shot by Dana White

UFC middleweight Yushin Okami defeated Dean Lister by unanimous decision at UFC 92. Even though the fight was not the most exciting bout on the card, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the victory puts Okami back in the hunt for the middleweight title currently held by Anderson Silva.

“Yushin Okami will be getting a title shot. Definitely,” White said.

Okami was very close to receiving a title shot earlier in the year after beating Evan Tanner at UFC 82 (Silva defeated Dan Henderson on that same card). Unfortunately, Okami was injured during training and the matchup could not be finalized.

Okami and Silva have an interesting backstory in that Okami is the last man to beat the champion. Okami defeated Silva by disqualification due to an illegal kick. The match took place in January 2006 for the Rumble on the Rock promotion.

Prior to Silva vs. Okami being signed, Silva will first have to defeat Thales Leites. Silva and Leites are set to square off in April.

  • RUSH says:

    I am really hoping that Okami gets the shot before Leites so it’s over with. Silva needs some big fights and a fight with Leites makes absolutely no sense, especially if Okami is the number one contender. Hopefully there was no bout agreement with Leites and maybe it was all speculation

  • spoofy says:

    yea i totally agree rush, id rather see okami vs silva then leites, in my opinion Okami deserves the shot before Leites as hes beaten more people and paid his dues longer, but thats jus my opinion, none the less its great to heat that he wll finally get the title shot.

    YOU CAN DO IT OKAMI!!! bring the THUNDER!!!!

  • Highallthetime says:

    Okami should fight b4 leites,thats bullshit he may not be that exciting but he gets the job done and deserved a shot b4 patrick cote did,now they bring in leites WTF,i hope yushin crushes silva

  • Jon R says:

    Okami is way past deserving a title shot. Especially more so than Leites. No offense to Leites but what top 10 contender has he actually beaten? Marquardt definitely does not count cuz he actually did not beat Nate convincingly. Leites lost to a natural 170 pounder whereas Okami lost to the former champ.

    OKAMI FTW!!!

  • Patrick says:

    Silva will destroy Okami.

  • PImp_man says:

    2 more wasted fights at 185!!! Give him some 205ers PLEASE!!!

  • William W. says:

    Why even bother with Leites in April? That is plenty of time for Okami to get ready and fight. It’s not like he took any damage from Lister.

  • rondog6669 says:

    Great main event for 95 Okomi is not hurt and in shape then Silva could fight at 97 he’s a badass.

  • mburtoni says:

    I would much, much rather see Silva fight Okami than Leites. Okami is probably one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. He’s 7 – 1 in the UFC, beating some big names while only losing by decision to Rich Franklin. Leites’ biggest win (over Nate Marquardt) is about as legit as Yushin Okami’s win over Anderson Silva.

  • PImp_man says:

    @ Mburtoni

    You can’t even compare Lietes victory over Nate to Okami’s. Leites Clearly won round 1 and he actually dropped Nate with a BIG Right hand.

    The fight changed with that illegal knee Nate threw and even then Leites kept on pushing and Nate still COULDN’T finish him. Leites is a tuff dude.

    In okami vs Silva, Anderson dominated the ENTIRE fight b4 the takedown and illegal up kick. Okami land and couple shots in the takedown b4 being kicked.

  • PImp_man says:


    “Okami landed a couple of shots”

  • JOe K. says:

    I think this is great. This legitimizes the UFC’s view that this is still a sport.

    The fact that Okami does not have the most “casual fan friendly” fighting style and they are still giving him a title shot is awesome.

    This gives me hope for Machida and shows that the UFC is still concerned with putting on fights for the best fighters to fight each other.

    I was really worried after the Brock 3 fight title shot, and the fact that they put Penn/GSP over Penn/Florian (although I heavily disagree with Penn/GSP being a title shot for Penn).

  • Ross says:

    Joe k says “This gives me hope for Machida and shows that the UFC is still concerned with putting on fights for the best fighters to fight each other.”

    dont get your hopes up,,,Dana White is praying Okami gets hurt…there is no way he wants that fight…..he only wants big money fights , and okami plus Silvas lower drawing power means very little money for the ufc….I promise you Dana pukes in his mouth even just thinking of this fight.

  • glock says:

    after GSP & Penn, I wanna see them make Anderson Silva and Machida.

    Just do it.

  • glock says:

    I’m REALLY missing something, if Franklin was ineffective, AT BEST, embarrassingly outclassed at worst, against Silva, and still decisioned okami, explain to me why we want to see an Okami / Silva TITLE FIGHT ! ??
    I mean styles make fights, but come on.
    No way I’m drinkin’ this Koolaid…..
    This is a lesson in marketing (to the Japanese fanbase) not MMA fight making.

  • nimbuszero says:

    Uh, because mma math isn’t an actual science. People that watched Okami vs Franklin realized that fight could have easily gone the other way if Yushin hadn’t been in a standing coma for the first half of the fight. Silva won’t let him do nothing, he’ll have to react, and it’s not out of the question that he could put Silva on his back.

  • whatever says:

    ^^^^thank you, i thought i was the only one that thought that, i kept telling my friend how easily Okami could have beaten Franklin in that fight, cause he never saw it

  • JOe K. says:

    Machida/Anderson Silva will never happen because they are friends.

    I am pretty sure Dana will guarantee the winner of Silva/Machida a shot.

    If he doesn’t Perhaps we can try to get to Joe Rogan so he can talk ON AIR during the LHW fight about how the LHW title fight is not featuring the No. 1 contenders.

  • glock says:

    okami took 3 rds to win over rory singer,kalib starns,alan belcher, jason mcdonald, and mike swick…….. I’m not impressed- the only back i see silva on, is okami’s
    this would be yet another “Happy Meal” for silva.
    A waste of a ppv.

  • NJMMAFan says:

    i agree glock I dont see how if a guy cant finish fights against guys not half as good as silva, he can beat silva himself. I just see okami either being boring and losing or 1r tko silva. trust me id like to believe silva isnt as good as he is but i dont believe IMO this is a test for him

  • HexRei says:

    You don’t refuse a guy a title shot because he wins via decision a lot. A win is a win and whether you feel he can beat Silva or not, he is the best contender for the MW title right now beside perhaps Leites (who is equally questionable and likely to lose imho)

  • glock says:

    Hex, my mind says you’re right, my love of mma and wallet say
    I hope JoeK is wrong and, friends decide to make each other some money
    so we get to see machida /silva B4 silva decides he has nothing left to prove, particularly @ 205 ……and leaves the UFC to go fishin’….

  • kyu says:


  • Blazen says:

    nimbuszero hit it on the money
    in fights, just because A defeats B and B defeats C doesn’t mean A can beat C, Okami has a style that stimies an opponents offence while still able to land just enough shots to win a fight convincingly. Not exciting no… but Okami’s fanbase are the purest MMA fans because true MMA isn’t about entertainment but about defeating the opponent across from you.

    Okami has good potential to do so against Silva, but Ross is right, Dana White would shit in his mouth if Okami won because as a fighter he would not be a good money draw for the organization, half to blame to the UFC itself for so poorly marketing him. Okami could easily be the token fighter little Japanese fans rally behind


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