It didn’t go quite as planned for former UFC middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami last night (Fri., Sept. 22, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 117 live on FXX from inside the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, as he made his return to the Octagon after four years. Okami lasted just under two minutes before getting choked unconscious by one of Ovince Saint Preux’s ridiculous Von Flue chokes.
After the conclusion of the one-sided main event, current UFC middleweight champion and FOX analyst Michael Bisping verbally bashed Okami for his performance opposite Saint Preux during the post-fight show on FOX Sports 1.
“If you are Yushin Okami, and you watch any footage of Ovince Saint Preux, if you’ve seen his last fight, he got the Von Flue,” Bisping said. “He’s had it before. What do you try to do? Rule 101, you don’t try to guillotine him from side control on your back. And he did that. … It was just crazy that he even did that. But I’m sorry, Yushin Okami, I have a lot of respect for you, but it was madness. It was absolutely amateurish. Shut the door on your way out.”
In Okami’s defense, the Japanese veteran was stepping up on seven days notice and making his debut at light heavyweight. His gameplan may have played directly into OSP’s strengths, but he probably wasn’t ready to take insane amounts of damage on the feet.
“Okami obviously didn’t watch any tape whatsoever,” Bisping said. “If he did, he would have known not to grab the head. … It’s an amateur move. It’s a stalling measure. There’s no submission for Okami on his back there. If you’re grabbing from there, you’re just trying to hold on. It was a terrible, terrible decision for Okami.”
Be it as it may, Okami did the promotion a favor and saved UFC Fight Night 117’s headlining act. He may not have put forth the complete effort some may have expected, especially in front of his home country of Japan, but Okami stepped up and fought one of the better 205-pound contenders on the roster with zero time to prepare.
That has to account for something.
For complete UFC Fight Night 117 results and coverage click here.