Yushin Okami: Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com
For most of his career, Yushin Okami was characterized by the fact that he came up short in major fights. A close, controversial majority decision to Jake Shields in 2006 was aided by his inactivity. In 2007, he did not get cooking against Rich Franklin until the third round, when it was too little, too late. Last year, it was Chael Sonnen who pulled the rug out from under Okami.
However, a surprisingly aggressive Okami attacked Nate Marquardt at UFC 122 in Oberhausen, Germany, outboxing and outwrestling the former Pancrase champion en route to a unanimous decision win. The victory earns Okami the next shot at the UFC middleweight crown, following the Anderson Silva-Vitor Belfort showdown at UFC 126 in February.
Meanwhile, Urijah Faber’s career was defined by the 145-pound division he once reigned atop. At WEC 52, he made his bantamweight debut in stellar fashion.
After choking former WEC title challenger Takeya Mizugaki out cold in the first round, “The California Kid” finds himself firmly in the mix of what will soon be the UFC bantamweight division. The Nov. 11 WEC show saw other 135-pound happenings, as Faber’s understudy, Joseph Benavidez, notched yet another top 10 win, choking out Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Wagnney Fabiano. Young up-and-comers Demetrious Johnson and Michael McDonald also laced submission wins that brought their names to prominence.