Yushin Okami faces Brazilian Anderson Silva, perhaps the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world, on Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a revenge middleweight title fight.
Silva's last loss came at the hands of Okami in January 2006, after Silva delivered an illegal kick to the Japanese fighter, who was knocked unconscious while grounded. Silva was completely dominating the fight before being disqualified.
Okami, 30, and Silva, 36, are of the same height and weight, and have similar records. Okami has 27 wins and five losses, and Silva has 28 wins and four losses. Okami has a reach of 72 inches, while Silva has a reach of 76.5 inches.
It will be a very tough task for Okami on Saturday. He is an excellent fighter (rated as the No. 3 middleweight by Sherdog.com) with efficient technical skills in wrestling and kickboxing. However, he is facing Silva not far from his hometown of Sao Paolo, and Silva has been extremely dominant against competition over the past six years.
Since losing to Okami, Silva has won 14 straight fights. His list of victories include Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Forrest Griffin, Damian Maia, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. Only two fighters, Thales Leites and Maia, have taken Silva the distance since the Okami loss, and both fights ended in a unanimous decision.
Perhaps Okami can go into the fight knowing he has one thing going for him: Silva has a history of losing to Japanese fighters. Of Silva's four losses, three are to Japanese fighters.
PREDICTION: Okami lasts one round because he goes on the defensive, and it works. The second round belongs to Silva who uses punches and knees to knock out Okami.