Japanese veteran Yushin Okami signs with ONE Championship

Santino Honasan on Feb 20, 2019 11:06 AM
Japanese veteran Yushin Okami signs with ONE Championship
(Photo courtesy of @_yushin_okami_ on Instagram)

Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship continues to bring on some big names, and the latest to jump to the Asian martial arts giant is Japanese middleweight star Yushin "Thunder" Okami. 

The 37-year old Kanagawa-native, who owns a 35-11 professional MMA record, is best known for his multiple runs in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, wherein he was at one point a challenger for the UFC Middleweight World Championship, then held by Anderson Silva. 

Among his notable wins inside the Octagon include ones over Mark Muñoz, Nate Marquardt, Alan Belcher Hector Lombard, and the late Evan Tanner. 

Okami also shared the cage with the likes of Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Chael Sonnen, and former UFC champion and current ONE Vice President Rich Franklin. He is coming off his second stint with the UFC, which saw him drop two of his last three bouts, most recently against Alexey Kunchenko back in December. 

While Okami is in the twilight of his career, the veteran could still prove to be a draw in Asia, most especially in Japan, and his signing comes in time for ONE's planned events in Japan this coming March and October. 

Okami follows in the footsteps of another Japanese veteran in Yoshihiro Akiyama, who signed with ONE in late 2018, and is expected to make his debut this year. 

The battle-tested Okami could still prove to be a legitimate contender in the middleweight division, currently ruled by Myanmar megastar Aung La N Sang. 

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