UFC 150 Results: Yushin Okami and Jake Shields Need Better Striking

Will AnglandContributor IIIAugust 11, 2012

TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 06:  Yushin Okami attends the UFC press conference at Shinjuku Wald 9 on September 6, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. The UFC will hold the Japan Tournament on February 26, 2012.  (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
Koki Nagahama/Getty Images

Jake Shields and Yushin Okami both did what they were supposed to by winning their fights tonight with high-level grappling.

Both also showed little to no improvement in a component of fighting that has always been their weak points: striking.

Okami got nailed by his opponent's jab and lead hook many times during the fight. This is particularly concerning since a southpaw fighter is better defended against attacks from the lead hand of an orthodox fighter.

Joe Rogan may have exaggerated how badly Roberts had Okami hurt at times, but it was clear that had the fight stayed on the feet, Okami would have gotten into more trouble.

Shields spent less time striking than Okami did, but it still seemed like he had nothing to offer but his lead roundhouse kick. And since Shields doesn't have great offensive wrestling, he's going to end up spending more time on the feet in his next middleweight bouts.

Every fight starts on the feet, and striking is where the fight stays when takedowns fail. Pure grapplers, no matter how brilliantly skilled they are, can not become UFC champions.

They won the fights, yeah, but they looked unimproved

It's impossible to learn striking overnight, but it's very important to train it nonetheless. Neither of these guys are going to stand a chance against the best few fighters of the division—let alone Silva—if they can't get their striking up to par.