A UFC title eliminator match-up has been a long time coming for Japanese middleweight fighter Yushin Okami.

Despite a 9-2 record since joining the UFC in 2006 and having the distinction of being the last man to defeat current champion Anderson Silva, Okami has consistently been overlooked for a title shot throughout his time in the promotion.

Chael Sonnen’s recent steroid suspension has been a blessing in disguise for Okami though, shaking up the top end of the division, with Nate Marquardt and himself emerging as the two men who will now battle to establish the division’s No.1 contender.

In a new interview with UFC.com prior to their headline bout at UFC 122 on November 13th Okami reveals that as far as he is concerned this is a do or die moment in his career.

“All of the UFC fights are important to me. But this fight is very important to me because it’s a doorway for a title shot. I’m looking at this fight as my last chance. My ultimate goal in the UFC is to become the first Japanese champion. This fight will lead me to that goal. So this is the most important fight of my career.”

Check out Okami’s full pre-fight interview below.

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