"In my opinion, Yushin Okami is the best fighter ever to come out of Japan," UFC President Dana White said. "This guy didn't fight cans and get this built-up, mythological record."
Kazushi Sakuraba, Takanori Gomi, Kid Yamamoto, Hayoto Sakurai, Caol Uno and Shinya Aoki could all make a case that they've accomplished more in mixed martial arts than Okami has.
White is right, however, that none of those fighters have proven it in the Octagon. Aoki has never fought in the UFC. Sakuraba and Sakurai each fought in the UFC just once, with Sakuraba fighting in 1997, and Sakurai losing to Matt Hughes in 2002. Gomi and Yamamoto are both currently under contract to the UFC, but both were past their prime before they ever appeared inside the Octagon. Uno fought twice for the UFC lightweight title, but his overall record in the UFC was just 3-5-2.
If Okami were to beat Silva convincingly, that would become the signature win of his career and completely transform his reputation.
"Anderson Silva is fighting for his legacy," White said. "Yushin Okami is fighting for respect."
"If (Okami) wins this fight, he'll get the credit he finally deserves."
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