It's been over five years since Anderson Silva last tasted defeat. That's a long time to contemplate just what you'd do to set the record straight in a fight that he didn't feel he did anything wrong. The man to beat him?
Current number one middleweight contender, Yushin Okami.
The UFC middleweight title is on the line tonight (August 27, 2011) at UFC 134 as champion Anderson Silva looks to defend his belt for the ninth time. Silva is soaking up praise in the lead-up to this fight as promotion President Dana White has been widely heralding him as not only the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet but the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. He's fighting in front of his native country, the first time in nearly eight years.
Silva has been a one man highlight reel in his time with the UFC, a time in which he's won 13 consecutive fights without a loss in the promotion. He's befuddled opponents with nose-breaking knees, Matrix-like head movement and even front kicks to the face.
Will Silva showcase another eye-popping technique that will have fans buzzing for days? He said it was "Brazil vs. the World" at yesterday's weigh-ins. Does he have a surprise waiting for fans in his native land tonight?
Yushin Okami has been the Rodney Dangerfield of the UFC middleweight division over the last five years -- getting no respect. The Japanese middleweight has quietly built a 10-2 record in the division and despite criticism of his patient and relatively safe fighting style, he's finally earned the title shot that hardcore fans have been calling for.
He's been told for years that his victory over Anderson Silva, a fight in which he ate an illegal upkick to the face after scoring a takedown, was a fluke; nothing more than a misunderstanding of the rules and that he milked the strike to escape further bites from "The Spider."
Now, the Japanese fighter has finally earned the chance to prove the doubters wrong and he's got just the right man teaching how to do it: Chael Sonnen, the man who made Silva look human just one year ago in Oakland.
If Okami can pull off the upset -- and it would be considerable when looking at the odds -- UFC President Dana White has proclaimed that he would undoubtedly be the greatest fighter to ever come out of Japan in the history of fighting.
Anyone want to argue that?