It’s been a long time coming, but finally at UFC: Rio in August, dominant middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be given the opportunity to face the last man to defeat him – Yushin Okami.
That fateful day occured back in January of 2006 at a ‘Rumble On The Rock’ event in Hawaii when midway through the first round Silva landed an illegal upkick to the face of Okami that caused him to be disqualified.
Since then Silva has gone on to produce a remarkable 14 fight winning streak, with 13 coming during an unparalleled run in the UFC, but the 36 year-old hasn’t forgotten what transpired that day, and it appears he holds a grudge for the way the Japanese fighter reacted to the blow.
“I was a little surprised with his reaction to that,” Silva tells The LA Times at the premiere for his new documentary, ‘Like Water’. “Do I think he could have continued? I do think he could have continued. But he had the rules in his favor. I did an illegal kick and he chose that it was better not to continue.”
Okami has been able to dine out on that win ever since, but he may now be about to pay the price, with Silva keen to make him pay for what he could conceive of as a lack of respect for the ‘warrior’s code’.
“The thing I always demand is respect,” Silva says. “I respect everybody and have a history in the sport and I believe people need to respect me. When they cross that line of respect is when they don’t really understand what happens. And things happen to them that they never imagined would happen. To me, you have to keep respect. When you don’t, not good things are going to happen to you.”
Those are no idle words. You only need to look at his last fight where he was vocal pre-fight about his belief that Vitor Belfort had been disrespectful by agreeing to fight him despite the fact they had been training partners. In the eventual fight he made him pay with a spectacular first round front kick KO.
Now it seems that his latest match-up has opened up old wounds and is once again stirring up Silva’s need for vengeance, and that may cause Okami to have a few sleepless nights before they finally step into the Octagon together on August 27th in Rio De Janeiro.