Nate Marquardt: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Chris Weidman: Marquardt by TKO in the second round. Marquardt will frustrate Okami with the stand-up, which will force Okami to start desperately looking for takedowns. Marquardt will stuff them and end up knocking Okami to the ground and finishing him with ground-and-pound.
Luis Ramos: I think Marquardt will score a knockdown in the fight standing and will win with ground-and-pound.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: I would rather be trapped in a room hanging out with all the cast of “Jersey Shore” than watch these two guys fight. It’s mostly Okami that makes me fall asleep. I have no interest in seeing him fight.
Chris Leben: People may think it is a little weird because I fight nothing like either of them, but these are two of my favorite fighters in the middleweight division. I love watching them fight. I think Nate Marquardt is probably a little more rounded, and he’s on the top of his game right now. But Yushin Okami is great with his takedowns and on the ground and hits hard, too. I really can’t pick a winner, but I think Okami’s size will be a big factor if it goes to the third round.
Amilcar Alves: Nate knocks out Okami in the second round.
Eddy Millis: I have Marquardt by decision. I don’t see either one knocking out each other. [It will be] a long fight, and I believe Marquardt will show the power and win a decision.
Rory Markham: I’ve gotta go with Nate in this fight. I’ve been a fan of Nate’s for a long time, and ever since I was able to see his “Street Fighter 2” super combo at UFC 95, I’ve been in awe of his technique. Nate will pick his shots and nullify Okami’s wrestling. Nate via TKO in round three.
Micah Miller: I’m gonna go with Nate. He’s the total package.
Patrick Cote: I think Marquardt will win. He’s more well-rounded.
Matt Mitrione: Nate Marquardt is one of the only people I felt has truly kicked my ass while sparring. His power, athleticism and spacing are impeccable, and his strength coaches are the best in the industry. Nate by “Mortal Kombat” finish.
Alan Belcher: Okami has all the tools and abilities to win, but he has failed to fight to his full potential. If he ever breaks out of his shell and quits being overly cautious, he will be a beast. Nate is always a dangerous opponent, with athletic, explosive striking and a lot of grappling experience. This well-rounded fighter will give anyone in the division trouble, but sometimes he's a little wild and out of control and Okami could capitalize on this. My pick is Marquardt. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing Okami take the win so we could set up a rematch with him and me for my comeback fight.
Yves Edwards: I’m picking Nate in this one. Yushin is tough, but I think Nate’s “A” game will be a little too great for the “Thunder.”
Kyle Noke: Easy -- Nate. He’s one of my training partners so I guess I would say that, but I honestly think he’s got the advantage. He’ll TKO Okami. He will most likely be too strong and, in the second round, either knock him down or take him down and then ground-and-pound him out. Nate has been a terror in sparring. I feel a little sorry for Okami.
Charlie Brenneman: Nate Marquardt will take home the victory on this one. Yushin does a great job of slowing down and controlling fights, though he has picked it up in recent fights, but I just see Nate being too dynamic. Nate’s a big middleweight, so Yushin’s size won’t play much of a factor. Marquardt via unanimous decision.
Fabio Maldonado: Nate wins in a decision.
Travis Lutter: I think Nate will finish this one. I think his defensive wrestling will keep the fight standing, where I think he has an edge.
Mac Danzig: Okami is very good, but I think Marquardt is a step above. Nate by TKO.
Tim Credeur: I am going with my favorite middleweight, Nate “The Great.” I think Okami is gonna have a tough time taking Nate down without getting clown jacked all the way in. I think Nate has a better overall skillset and can be successful in more areas than Okami. TKO late second round for Marquardt.
Anderson Silva: This is a very closely matched fight. Both competitors are well-rounded and could win by strikes or submission. I can’t pick a winner. With a shot at the UFC title for the winner, I am obviously very interested to see who wins. I am excited to see who wins, but no matter who it is, I look forward to defending my UFC middleweight title against him in the New Year.
Matt Pena: I’ve been more impressed with the Okami of old than the guy who fought [Chael] Sonnen and [Mark] Munoz. However, Okami does have the potential, as he has shown in a handful of older fights. Marquardt just seems to be the more hungry and well-rounded fighter. The only way I see it slipping from Marquardt is if he is taken down and Okami can hold him for three rounds.
Milton Vieira: Nate wins in a decision.
Tom Lawlor: This is an extremely tough matchup and has controversial split decision written all over it. On one hand we have perennial top contender Nate Marquardt, who was viewed as the next in line before being upset by Chael Sonnen. On the other is the last man to defeat current champion Anderson Silva in Yushin Okami. The key to this fight is going to be takedowns. We saw that Marquardt was susceptible to being controlled by a high-level wrestler in Sonnen, while Okami learned exactly the same lesson from the same man in a previous fight. In the past, Okami was viewed as a slow starter. However, in his past few performances -- wins over Lucio Linhares and Mark Munoz -- his work rate early on was higher, and he displayed a crisp boxing game. Should he attempt to stand and trade with Marquardt, Okami may find himself overmatched despite having a reach advantage. Striking wise it seems that Nate “The Great” simply has more tools to end the fight. Okami would best be served by reverting back to his grappling roots and looking to score takedowns, followed by a smothering ground-and-pound game much like Sonnen used. I feel that neither man will be able to run away with the fight standing or with submissions and that both men will be able to control the fight at different times in all realms, with Marquardt winning by split decision despite being taken down each round.
Cristiano Marcello: Nate will have no trouble defeating Okami. I believe there will be an exchange of blows, and then Nate will take him down, winning on ground-and-pound.
Matt Hamilton: I pick Marquardt in this fight. Not a lot of insight, I just think Nate is better. But since I’m picking Nate by decision, I suggest everyone put some money on Okami.
Adam Singer: I get all these wrong. I have to go with Okami by decision. I just think his size, strength and takedowns will be too much for Nate.
Pros who picked Marquardt: 40
Pros who picked Okami: 4
Pros who could not decide: 4
You can also contact Mike Sloan at www.facebook.com/mikesloan19. Gleidson Venga and Brian Knapp contributed to this report.