UFC 134 Preview: Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami

nullThe main event of Saturday’s UFC 134 is a middleweight championship contest with Anderson Silva defending his title against Yushin Okami.

Okami is actually the last man to beat Silva, as he won by DQ over “The Spider” back in 2006 as part of Rumble on the Rock. Silva threw an illegal upkick that forced Okami to stop fighting.

Here is a look at both fighters, more than five years since their last meeting.

Anderson Silva (30-4) – Widely considered the best single fighter in the world in any weight class, Silva is the most lethal striker in all of MMA. Both of his hands and feet have one-strike KO power and he also has a jiu-jitsu black belt under the Nogeuira brothers. Silva is on a 14-fight win streak and is coming off an impressive KO of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. Silva seems unbeatable, but his one weakness appears to be wrestling, where Okami is at his strongest.

Yushin Okami (26-5) – “Thunder” has had a long road to a title fight, as this is his 12th fight in the octagon. Since a tough decision loss to Chael Sonnen, Okami has won three straight, including decision wins over Nate Marquardt and Mark Munoz. Like Sonnen, Okami is a grinder that fights a very ugly style. He likes to clinch and grapple, using his strength to keep his opponent from going on the attack. If Okami can get the fight to the ground, he can win. If the fight remains on the feet, I don’t see him coming out on the winning end.

Who Will Win – It’s hard to see any scenario where Silva doesn’t win, but Okami does have the style that has given Silva the most problems. Sonnen, Dan Henderson, and Travis Lutter were all able to score takedowns on Silva. Sonnen has some very strong wrestling skills, but he isn’t an aggressive fighter. He must be aggressive early and not allow Silva to find his flow. Eventually, I see Silva getting a KO in the second round against Okami, as Silva is just too fast for Okami to get his hands on.


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