UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva will defend his title this August against the last man to hold a victory over him, Japanese powerhouse Yushin Okami.
The two first met in action in 2006 at Rumble on the Rock 8, where Silva knocked Okami out cold with an illegal up-kick, giving Okami the disqualification win. Though Silva doesn’t consider the loss to be legitimate and has expressed disinterest in a rematch with “Thunder,” his coaches Josuel Distak (boxing) and Rogerio Camoes (strength and conditioning) recently told Tatame.com that “The Spider” is supremely motivated to face Okami and will bring the fight to the longtime contender.
Says Distak: “Okami has to be on his best to fight in Brazil. The most important thing is that Anderson needs a great motivation to fight, and thanks God his greatest motivation now is to be fighting in Brazil. It’d be tough on Okami, because Anderson is a lot motivated for it, he’ll be defending his country at home.”
For his part, Camoes believes that Silva has pressure on his shoulders to again emphatically defeat Okami (but, officially this time) in front of a hometown crowd at a landmark event.
“And the most interesting factor is that this bout is a rematch of a bout that wasn’t really convincing,” said Camoes. “Anderson was clearly winning the fight, but unfortunately he applied an illegal coup, and so there was something odd about it. Both for Anderson and Okami, this being a rematch is really interesting, and it’s really important because he’s coming for a rematch, so he has a big responsibility to put on a good show in Brazil.”
Silva and Okami will meet at UFC 134 this August 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — this will mark the first time that the UFC has gone back to Brazil since 1998.