I have no inside sources to back this up, but it just feels like the right fight.
MMAWeekly.com is reporting that both Mike Swick (10-1) and Yushin Okami (19-3) are scheduled to fight at UFC 68 on March 3. The middleweights, however, are not lined up to face one another ... yet.
Since losing to Stephan Bonnar (9-4) in The Ultimate Fighter season one semifinals, Swick has been on a tear inside the Octagon.
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout beat Alex Schoenauer (10-6), Gideon Ray (13-5), Steve Vigneault (11-6) and Joe Riggs (25-9) in a combined four minutes and 70 seconds.
Hence the nickname, "Quick."
It was widely assumed -- incorrectly -- that if Swick could get past David Loiseau (14-6) at UFC 63 he'd be next in line for the 185-pound belt.
He beat "The Crow" thanks to a unanimous decision, but the championship opportunity never emerged.
That's due in part to Anderson Silva (17-4) turning the division upside-down with his devastating victory over Rich Franklin (20-2) at UFC 64, as well as TUF 4 winner Travis Lutter (9-3) getting the first crack at the new belt holder.
Swick has made it well-known that he has earned a title shot. And, with a perfect 5-0 UFC record, it's hard to argue.
As for Okami, he's an enormous middleweight. He , too, is perfect in the Octagon, racking up wins against Alan Belcher (9-2), Kalib Starnes (7-1-1) and Rory Singer (10-6).
While he hasn't fought opponents on the same level as Swick in the UFC, Okami is an extremely talented mixed martial artist who is in the UFC top five at 185.
I'm going to put on my Joe Silva hat and say that if Swick beats Okami, he gets the winner of Silva-Lutter.
And, if Okami beats Swick?
Well, one of the four losses on the current champion's record is the result of a fight with Okami. A little less than one year ago, Silva and Okami squared off at a Rumble on the Rock show in Hawaii. Silva lost the bout due to an illegal kick.
I'm sure he'd like nothing more than the opportunity to avenge a loss like that.
Let's take it one step further, and say that the winner of Rich Franklin vs. Jason MacDonald gets the winner of the Nate Marquardt-Dean Lister showdown.
(Note: It is also possible that Swick could face the winner of Marquardt-Lister. Anything is possible, really. I just like my idea better.)
And, when all is said and done, we see Rich Franklin vs. Anderson Silva 2 late summer/early fall 2007.
Boy, I hope I'm right. Otherwise, I just wasted a lot of time.