UFC 122: Winner of Nate Marquardt vs Yushin Okami 'guaranteed' 2011 middleweight title shot


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today 'guaranteed' that the winner of the UFC 122 main event between Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami would be next in line for a 185-pound title shot after they throw down on Nov. 13 in Oberhausen, Germany.

From the promotion's official press release:

Two of the world's best middleweight (185 lbs.) mixed martial arts fighters, Denver's Nate Marquardt and Japan's Yushin Okami, will square off in the main event of "UFC 122" on Spike TV Saturday, November 13 at 9:00pm ET/PT (same day tape). Emanating from Konig-Pilsener-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, the winner of the Marquardt-Okami bout is guaranteed a shot at the UFC middleweight title currently held by Anderson Silva.

While the belt is currently held by "The Spider," there is no "guarantee" it will be his after Superbowl weekend. That's because he'll be defending it against fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas.

And "The Phenom" has Chael Sonnen to thank.

Sonnen levied a performance so dominant (in a losing effort) against Silva back on Aug. 7, that UFC President Dana White promised an immediate rematch, and slotted a now-healthy Belfort against Yushin Okami at UFC 122.

Then the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) came along with charges of drug use against Sonnen, effectively benching him for one year (or until his appeal is heard) following his UFC 117 career performance.

Enter Nate Marquardt.

After a "Great" performance against Rousimar Palhares on Sept. 15, Marquardt relieved Belfort of his duties in Germany and will now face "Thunder" for the chance to challenge the winner of the UFC 126 title fight.

That cleared the way for the Silva vs. Belfort championship bout in February (one that was originally scheduled for UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi until Belfort had shoulder surgery). It seems the division may finally be working itself out.

We hope.

For a complete archive of UFC 122: "Marquardt vs. Okami" news and notes click here.

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