"I want to fight Anderson Silva and I want to become the middleweight champion."
That's what Yushin Okami told Joe Rogan after he took a slow but deliberate unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) over Nate Marquardt in the main event of UFC 122.
The first round saw Marquardt attempt a couple guillotine chokes but each time, Okami was able to slip out and end up in superior position. Yushin also managed a takedown to end the frame and set the tone for the next two rounds.
Marquardt's trainer, Trevor Wittman, told Nate to stop trying for the guillotine, have confidence in his kicks and believe in himself heading into the second frame.
They traded takedown attempts to start the second before Nate finally started throwing kicks. It didn't seem to help as Okami pushed him against the cage and wore him down. Marquardt did land a big shot but "Thunder" just walked right through it.
Wittman again implored Marquardt to believe in himself between rounds but he was tired and Okami never stopped pushing forward, no matter what the "Great" was landing. Marquardt did manage a big takedown but it didn't take long for Okami to get back to his feet and get right back to controlling the center of the Octagon. Nate tried to charge in at the end but it was too little too late for the former title contender.
With the victory, Okami becomes the first Japanese fighter to win a main event fight in the UFC and now becomes the number one contender to the middleweight title. Marquardt will once again have to start from scratch in his quest to get back to Anderson Silva.