Yushin Okami knows that he will hear nothing but boos come Saturday night at UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami.
And that is quite fine as far as the “Thunder” is concerned.
Okami (26-5) gets his chance to wrestle the UFC middleweight strap from around the waist of Anderson Silva (30-4) in Silva’s home country of Brazil this weekend.
For Okami, this fight also presents a chance to cement his legacy in the UFC and MMA. UFC President Dana White called Okami the best Japanese fighter ever, recently.
“I’m very glad to hear that comment from Mr. Dana, but I’m doing this to be the best in the world, so I’m going to prove it in the next fight,” Okami said.
Okami isn’t the most vocal fighter, as he prefers to let his in-cage work do the talking for him. Since late-2007, Okami is 6-1, with the lone loss coming to Chael Sonnen. He has finished two of his opponents during that time and earned decisions over the likes of Mark Munoz and Nate Marquardt.
All total, he has fought 12 times in the UFC, going 10-2. The only other loss as to former champion Rich Franklin by decision.
“I’m the kind of person who never things too much (about those things, so I didn’t think about it in that way,” said Okami, about just now receiving a title shot after competing in the UFC for so many years. “But there is one thing I can say: right now, I’m in the best shape, so this is the best time to fight Anderson Silva.”
Okami has plenty of respect for “The Spider,” who is 30-4, but he doesn’t fear him.
“I understand many people are saying Anderson is the pound-for-pound (best) fighter,” Okami said. “But it really doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to beat him, and I’m going to be the middleweight champion.”
UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami takes place this Saturday from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. FightLine.com will have live, ongoing coverage of the event.