UFC Fight Night 117 has a new headliner, as Yushin Okami has replaced Mauricio Rua and will meet Ovince St. Preux in Japan on Sept. 23.
The change was announced during the UFC Fight Night 116 broadcast on Saturday night. The nature of the injury that led to Rua’s withdrawal was not disclosed. UFC Fight Night 117 takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan and also includes a strawweight clash between former title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade. The card airs on FXX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Okami, a former middleweight challenger in the UFC who has competed as low as 170 pounds outside the promotion, will face St. Preux at 205 pounds. Okami last appeared in the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 28 in September 2013, when he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Ronaldo Souza. “Thunder” has gone 5-2 outside the promotion since then and enters the matchup on a four-bout winning streak.
St. Preux halted a three-bout skid at UFC Fight Night 108, as he submitted Marcos Rogerio de Lima with a shoulder choke in the second round. The Tennessee native is 8-5 during his promotional tenure overall.