It was a successful debut in the World Series of Fighting promotion for former UFC middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami. The veteran Japanese fighter secured his first submission victory since 2006 by finishing Svetlozar Savov in the second round of their contest at WSOF 9 in Las Vegas.
Okami had a lengthy previous tenure in the UFC and was quick to sign on with WSOF after his release. “Thunder” saw his 18-fight run with the organization come to an end after a first-round knockout loss at UFC Fight Night 28 against dangerous contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
Okami has faced many of the sport’s best, including former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and that experience showed in a major way against Savov. He employed his traditional grinding style and physical strength to overwhelm his outmatched opponent.
Savov came out busy in the opening frame, landing a couple of solid strikes in the stand-up game. However, the tone of the fight changed when the veteran took his opponent to the mat. After getting Savov to the canvas, Okami was relentless in raining down ground-and-pound strikes and maintaining dominant control for the rest of the round.
In round two, Savov was once again taken to the canvas via a slick judo trip and this time there would be no escape. Okami exerted physical pressure in not allowing Savov to break free and finally earned an arm triangle choke submission with just 14 seconds left in the middle frame.
Okami picked up his 13th career victory and displayed many of the skills that made him a top-10 UFC middleweight for a number of years. WSOF officials have already announced that Okami will headline the promotion’s first event in Japan on August 2.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports