Article

Okami Decisions Nate, Earns Title Shot

The wait is over. After more than four years building his resume in the UFC, Japan’s Yushin Okami has earned a shot at the world middleweight championship. Watch all the fights again on UFCLive.com.
OBERHAUSEN, November 13 – Japan’s Yushin Okami has earned a shot at the world middleweight championship after a close three round unanimous decision victory over perennial contender Nate Marquardt in the UFC 122 main event at Konig Pilsener Arena on Saturday.

“Nate was a great fighter,” said Okami. “I’m ready for the championship.”

Scores were 30-27 and 29-28.

Okami shot first, looking for an early takedown, but Marquardt fought it off with a brief guillotine choke attempt before working his way into his opponent’s guard. Okami’s defense was airtight, and a second, even briefer, guillotine attempt allowed the Kanagawa native to get into the top position. From there, it was a stalemate and the two scrambled to their feet. Marquardt landed with a quick right as Okami shot in, but ‘Thunder’ was unmoved by the shot and he proceeded to pin Marquardt against the fence before taking him down just before the bell.

Marquardt threw Okami’s first takedown attempt of the second round aside easily, but his retaliatory single leg attempt came up empty as well. The two middleweight contenders then locked up against the fence, with Marquardt reversing Okami’s leg trip attempt and winding up on top. After Marquardt was able to land with some strikes, Okami scrambled to his feet and looked for his own takedown. It didn’t come, and the two separated, unable to make anything significant happen before the end of the stanza.

Early in the final round, Okami’s punches opened a cut under Marquardt’s right eye, and buoyed by his success, he began to chase the Wyoming native. For his part, Marquardt, who was beginning to look fatigued, tried to counter Okami’s advances, but as the round progressed, Okami appeared to have even more confidence in his striking as the crowd chanted his name. With under two minutes left, Marquardt began to pick up his pace, landing a few strikes before taking Okami to the mat. Okami got back to his feet quickly and resumed his stalking of Marquardt, who landed a hard counter right before the two locked up against the fence and traded knees until the end of the bout.

With the win, Okami improves to 27-5; Marquardt falls to 33-10-2.

Saturday, January 31
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Las Vegas, Nevada

Media

Recent
UFC Embedded is an all-access, behind-the-scenes video blog leading up to the UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz superfight, taking place Saturday, January 31 on Pay-Per-View.
Jan 29, 2015
Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Tyron Woodley, Al Iaquinta, and Joe Lauzon were among the fighters that spoke to the media at the UFC 183 Media Day. Hear from the fighters in these highlights.
Jan 29, 2015
Ian McCall-John Lineker and Ed Herman-Derek Brunson were both previously scheduled bouts that had to be cancelled because of sickness. All four fighters are looking forward to this chance to make up for lost time at UFC 183.
Jan 29, 2015
UFC 183 Ultimate Media Day at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on January 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jan 29, 2015