Wow. Just, wow. I thought it was going to be a pretty tame week for MMA and here I am — wrong again. For those of you who do not know, the UFC has released perennial top-five middleweight Yushin Okami. The news has many fans up in arms, and I believe that it gives off the wrong impression of what the UFC is and what it wants to become.
The UFC has been cutting more and more fighters ever since it absorbed Strikeforce and brought some of those fighters. Dana White has said that the only way for a fighter to keep their job is to win, and even though Okami was on the receiving end of a beat down by Ronaldo Souza in his recent fight, that was his first loss in his past four fights. Do I think that deserves a pink slip? Absolutely not.
White has also gone public in saying that he does not like “boring” fighters. Okami would fall into that category, but it was a thing of beauty to watch him compete. His wrestling attack was almost unstoppable and would neutralize most fighters.
It is amazing to watch him turn an expert striker into what looked like a novice on the ground. He was one of the few fighters who would avoid a brawl and use his intelligence to get the fight where he was comfortable. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy a good brawl more than anybody, but it is giving off a terrible impression. It seems to say that he wants all fights to be brawls and just turn actual talent and preparation into slugfests.
I could not be more disappointed in the UFC by this decision, and I hope that Okami gets an invite back after a couple of wins.