Opinion: Yushin Okami Presents Another Opportunity for World Series of Fighting
By Michael Hatamoto
Former UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami was recently cut from the UFC and is already in talks with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) MMA promotion.
Here is what WSOF President Ray Sefo said when MMA fans called for him to sign Okami:
— Ray Sefo (@SugarRaySefo) September 28, 2013
Promotions outside the UFC have a difficult time trying to keep their divisions full with high-level talent, though the WSOF middleweight division does have some experienced MMA fighters: Jesse Taylor, David Branch, Elvis Mutapcic, and Danillo Villefort.
Okami is 32-year-old and has gone 3-3 over his last six fights, losing to Anderson Silva, Tim Boetsch and Ronaldo Souza by TKO. To be fair, he was winning the Boetsch fight before being brutally finished in the third round, though it only matter which fighter has his hand raised at the end of the fight.
If Okami joins the WSOF, expect him to almost certainly find his way towards a middleweight title shot sometime in 2014.
The WSOF is currently shown on the NBC Sports Network and features a fairly reliable program for MMA viewers watching at home. If the WSOF wants to build a following in Japan, then having Okami on board could certainly help with that future effort.
Okami still prefers to speak Japanese over English, and doesn’t have the most appealing style, but the WSOF could pick up a great veteran. The UFC didn’t see continued marketing potential with him, though an upstart MMA promotion could use him as a ‘superstar’ because of his strong fight game.