On August 27th UFC middleweight No.1 contender Yushin Okami faces a daunting challenge when he faces arguably the pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist on the planet Anderson Silva in his own backyard at UFC 134: Rio.
The Japanese fighter is also one of the best 185lb’ers in the world however, and he believes he has what it takes to become the first man to defeat Silva in the Octagon.
“I am prepared to be the UFC’s middleweight champion. I’m gonna prove myself in this fight. I will break his streak,” Okami says confidently in a new promo for UFC.com.
Over the years Okami has built up an impressive run in the UFC, going 10-2 since the summer of 2006. Some have suggested that his form warranted a title shot earlier, but in the end he had to be patient and he’s convinced that all good things come to those who wait.
“Ever since I started in the UFC, he’s been the champion. I’ve always wanted to take the belt from him. The UFC championship has been waiting for me.”
Assessing his advantages over his opponent, Okami notes that his strength could be a key factor, suggesting that he will be looking to grapple with him.
“I believe that I am stronger than him, and I will take full advantage of it.”
That ties in with the fact that he has been training with another rival of Silva’s, former No.1 contender Chael Sonnen who also found some success when applying a wrestling based strategy against the Brazilian.
Overall Okami seems in determined and confident mood coming into this fight, and that’s just as well as this isn’t the sort of fight you want to be heading into with any form of self-doubt.
Of course, as the 30 year-old himself points out this is hardly his first rodeo.
“I’ve been fighting in the middleweight division for a long time. I am very confident. I am ready to fight Anderson Silva.”