Yushin “Thunder” Okami (21-4-1) is atop the stack of middleweight contenders in the UFC, and is set to take on world champion Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Dean “Boogeyman” Lister (11-5). Okami and Lister will meet inside the ocaton at UFC 92 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 27, according to various media outlets. Both fighters are enjoying back-to-back wins.
Yushin recently had the misfortune of a broken hand injury which withdrew him from action several months ago. The well-known Japanese fighter, who most recently defeated the late Evan Tanner at UFC 82, was supposed to fight current 185 lb champ Anderson Silva. For now, TUF alumnus Patrick Cote has taken over the #1 contender spot and will look to dethrone “The Spider” at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” on October 25.
Okami’s already once defeated Silva back at a Rumble on the Rock event, however the decision was due to a disqualification stemming from an illegal kick. Surely, both fighters are seeking to set the record straight, in their respective careers. Okami’s only recent loss was to Rich “Ace” Franklin at UFC 72 in June of last year (2007).
Lister’s well know in the MMA world as being the 2003 Abu Dhabu Combat Club (ADCC) Absolute Division Champion, and has carved out several impressive wins in the UFC. Although having being under the radar (undercards), this fight could serve as the Boogeyman’s coming out party to more mainstream fans, as this bout is tentatively scheduled for the televised portion of the night.
Look for this match-up to possibly earn submission or KO of the night honors, depending on who comes out on top as the victor. Okami’s ground and pound is widely feared, as he couples it with KO power inside the cage. Lister brings his top-flight ground game with him, and always-improving stand-up.
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