Yushin Okami and Anderson Silva are set to square off again. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
It appears Georges St. Pierre will have to wait his turn, as middleweight champion Anderson Silva will reportedly defend his title against Yushin Okami at “UFC Rio” this summer.
UFC President Dana White today confirmed the rumored contest with USA Today. The bout was first mentioned earlier this week by Silva's friend and teammate Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in his column with Brazilian newspaper Extra.
The UFC's return to Brazil is scheduled to go down Aug. 27 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie is reportedly in negotiations to fight at the event, but nothing has been made official by either the promotion or the fighter. The show marks the UFC's first trip to the country since “Ultimate Brazil” in 1998.
Silva and Okami have met once before in a 2006 encounter, in which the Brazilian was disqualified for cracking Okami with an illegal upkick that nearly knocked his foe unconscious.
Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Silva has been a wrecking machine in the UFC's middleweight division, turning away all comers since capturing the title in 2006. The “Spider” rides a 14-fight win streak into his showdown with Okami. Most recently, Silva knocked out challenger Vitor Belfort in February with a highlight-reel front kick that landed flush on his countryman's jaw and sent him reeling to the canvas.
Since losing a 2009 bout to wrestling standout Chael Sonnen, Okami has trained with his former adversary at Team Quest in Gresham, Ore., and the judo player has been a better fighter for it. “Thunder” won three-straight fights in 2010, knocking out Lucio Linhares before outpointing Mark Munoz and Nate Marquardt to earn his shot at Silva's title.