If you have read any story about this weekend‚Äôs UFC 134 event that will take place in Brazil you have undoubtedly learned that almost each and every story has begun with the same exact focus, Yushin Okami being the last fighter to score a victory over Anderson Silva. While some would consider the introduction to be lazy writing, it‚Äôs not, it‚Äôs a way to focus on how impressive a feat Silva‚Äôs 14 fight winning streak is and if not for the illegal upkick that cost him the first Okami fight, his streak could possibly be at 17 consecutive victories. When the two do meet in the main even at UFC 134, that fight which took place in January 2006 will surely be in the minds of both fighters.
The oddsmakers are not giving Okami much of a chance, listing Silva at -525 and Okami at +375. ¬†Translated to a percentage, those numbers put Silva as an 84 percent favorite, which judging from MMA fan commentary may actually be on low side of things. The odds are not a reflection on Okami as much as they are a statement on how dominant a fighter Silva has become since his loss to Okami.
13 of Silva‚Äôs 14 straight wins have come in the UFC.¬† Eight of those wins have been in defense of the UFC middleweight title he captured in October 2006 when he defeated Rich Franklin via first round TKO.¬† The 13 straight wins and the eight consecutive title defenses are both UFC records.
In the words of UFC president Dana White, “He hasn’t lost a fight in five years. He’s never lost in the UFC. The last time he lost was to Yushin Okami in October 2006. He’s got the most title defenses ever, with eight. He’s got the longest (UFC) win streak ever, at 13-0. And in my opinion, he’s the greatest mixed martial artist ever. Ever, period.”
To say that Okami, who has quietly gone 12-3 since his win over Silva, is being given little chance to defeat Silva, is an understatement. But Okami is not just a bump in the road to another UFC record victory for Silva. The man the White recently called ‚ÄúThe best fighter ever to come out of Japan,‚ÄĚ does stand a chance in this fight.
If Okami follows the blueprint of his current training partner and the man that was within 110 seconds of taking Silva‚Äôs title at UFC 126, Chael Sonnen, he could lay claim to being the only fighter to score two victories over Silva.
Sonnen came out at UFC 117 and took the fight to Silva, something that many opponents of Silva have failed to do. Sonnen showed zero fear, using his wrestling to dominate Silva for most of the five round battle.¬† The end came for Sonnen when Silva capitalized on an opening that was given to him, grabbing the submission win via a triangle/arm bar with less than two minutes remaining in the fifth and final round. At the time he tapped out, Sonnen was ahead on all three judges scorecards and would have been declared the new UFC middleweight champion if he had not submitted.
Okami is a better wrestler than Silva and has strong ground and pound. He also has never been submitted in 31 professional fights.¬† If Okami can secure takedowns and stay in top position he may, however unlikely it seems, earn a decision victory, especially when one considers MMA judges propensity for scoring in favor of fighters that hold top position.
Tags: Anderson SIlva, UFC, UFC 134, Yushin Okami