Woah! That came out of nowhere.
Yushin has gone 3 and 3 in his last 6 fights, but in those last 3 fights, he’s gone 2 and 1. What gives? Apparently, Dana White says it’s just a case of the UFC having too many fighters on their roster. In Okami’s case, I get the feeling he is too expensive to keep around considering his last three losses have been TKOs and his last three wins have been decisions.
Still, it’s hard to believe the UFC released Okami considering the praise Dana White heaped on Okami in 2011, calling him “the best fighter to ever come out of Japan.” Somewhere in Japan, Kazushi Sakuraba could be heard chuckling.
As a Okami fan, I’m a little miffed at the UFC’s decision. But I’ve come to expect that stance: too many fighters on the roster + too many expensive fighters on the roster = you better have some intangibles to work with.
The guy is a proven test builder for anyone coming up in the 185 division. He’s a very difficult out for anyone in contention at that class, and for a division with some new life in it with Anderson now dethroned, this is an odd choice for a cut.
He’ll likely be back, so I won’t pout too much. You don’t put together a 7-year run in the UFC and have them not remember you. With Vitor, Tim Boetsch, and Alan Belcher being injury prone and Hector Lombard dropping to 170, I have a feeling Joe Silva will be calling pretty quickly.
Of course things could have been worse for Yushin Okami. He could have been shot to death by Chael Sonnen’s mother. Seriously. Listen to Chael tell the story here on Dana’s vlog (starts at 1:20).
I think if the UFC could have promoted Yushin’s friendship with Chael more, more people could have seen what Yushin was about in addition to his cage performances. Or they could have milked it into a buddy-cop-“East meets West” movie. Chael loves the camera.
- UFC Releases Top Ranked Middleweight Contender Yushin Okami (fightparrot.com)