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Yushin Okami Calls Anderson Silva “The Best Opponent I Have Faced”

UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva returns to his native Brazil to defend his title against the last man to have defeated him (albeit by disqualification), Japanese powerhouse Yushin Okami on Saturday, Aug. 27.

The two first met at Rumble on the Rock 8 in 2006, where Silva was disqualified after knocking out Okami with an illegal up-kick. Both fighters have since stated that they don’t consider the fight a victory for Okami, and plan to settle the score at UFC 134.

A winner of six out of his last seven fights, Okami has emerged as the division’s top contender thanks to his tremendous strength and overwhelming power. With wins over Jason MacDonald, Nate Marquardt and Mark Munoz, the six-foot-two powerhouse has set out to become the first Japanese champion in the history of the UFC.

“I have to try to smash him with all of my speed, strength and skills,” said Okami. “The last time we fought, I felt the pressure of his striking, so I have been sharpening up my striking skills, and though he is the best opponent I have faced, he is the man I have to beat to become the UFC middleweight champion.”

For Silva, it is the first time that he will have fought in his home country since he defeated Waldir dos Anjos in December of 2003. The champion will look to extend his records for most consecutive title defenses (currently at 8) and most consecutive victories in the UFC (13), as well as get a chance to avenge the controversial disqualification loss he suffered to Okami. Owning wins over the likes of Chael Sonnen, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort, the 36-year-old is looking forward to adding Okami’s name to his legendary resume.

“I understand Anderson has a lot of emotion (fighting in Brazil),” Okami, who has compiled a record of 27-5, said. “This time it will be in his home country, so I will see him fully focused, at his most dangerous, and in the best shape ever when I step in to the Octagon.

UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami takes place on August 27, 2011 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event marks the first time that the organization has hosted an event in Brazil since UFC 17.5: Ultimate Brazil in 1998.