Former UFC fighter Yushin Okami has signed an exclusive multi-fight deal with the World Series Of Fighting promotion.
The 32 year-old is expected to make his debut around March next year, though an opponent has yet to be named.
WSOF are currently in the midst of a four-man middleweight tournament, with Dave Branch already having made his way to the final, while Jesse Taylor and Elvis Mutapcic will fight for the other spot in December, so it would make sense for Okami to fight the eventual winner.
Okami was surprisingly released from the UFC just a few weeks ago despite having won three of his last four fights and being the 6th ranked contender in the promotion’s middleweight division.
UFC president Dana White later claimed that Okami had become somewhat of a gatekeeper in the division and that due to their packed roster they needed to free up space in order to bring in new talent.
This is not the first time that World Series Of Fighting have swooped to sign recently released UFC fighters, with the likes of Jon Fitch and Jacob Volkmann also having been added to their roster.
The thing all three fighters have in common is that they were talented fighters, but were often criticized for overpowering their opponents on the mat – a style that proved to be effective, but often failed to be entertaining from a fans perspective.
Many believe that’s the real reason they were released from the UFC, and could also explain why Bellator, the second biggest promotion in the sport, haven’t looked to sign them.
WSOF appear happy to bring in the best fighters they can regardless of their perceived entertainment value though and it’ll be interesting to see how that strategy works out in terms of their ratings on NBC Sports in the future.