It feels pretty lonely picking Yushin Okami to beat Anderson Silva tomorrow night at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Odds makers have him from anywhere between a 350+ to over 400+ underdog. But I honestly think he has a solid shot at getting the upset using his Wrestling and his Submission Defense. It helps he’s been honing his Wrestling with Chael Sonnen, the last challenger who took it to Silva with his NCAA
Division 1 All American accolade and two time University Greco-Roman National Championships and Silver Medalist at the World University Championships.
Okami isn’t as decorated or perhaps has the overall Wrestling ability as Sonnen, but he has the submission defense Sonnen has often lacked and perhaps in this area a stronger mental game.
Over at Bloody Elbow I looked at how Okami can survive in a dangerous guard by analysing his fight with Dean Lister. Lister doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a grappler and I’ve seen many casuals think Silva has a better guard just because Silva has the better name.
What would really make me happy, regardless of the outcome, is if Okami can use his Wrestling to setup a submission attempt. If he finished the fight that way it would serve as a great exclamation point. If you’re betting on Okami the safest option is victory by decision which is how I see it playing out.