UFC 155: Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami Head-to-Toe Breakdown
These two first met six years ago at UFC 62, where Okami took home a unanimous decision.
Since that time, both men have ascended to become top middleweights, although many rank Okami higher.
Belcher will look to change that when he faces Okami at UFC 155.
Yushin Okami has never been known as much of a striker. In fact, it was his downfall in his fight against Tim Boetsch, when he was knocked out in the later stages.
Alan Belcher, meanwhile, has won half of his fights via technical knockout.
However, Belcher has also suffered two defeats via TKO in six losses, while Okami has suffered three defeats via TKO in seven losses.
Edge: Alan Belcher
While Yushin Okami is not known as a striker, he is known as a wrestler.
Okami is arguably one of the top wrestlers in the middleweight division, and he has used that wrestling to get him where he is now.
Belcher is by no means a slouch in the grappling department, but he isn't up to the level of Okami.
Edge: Yushin Okami
Just because Okami has the advantage in grappling doesn't mean he has the advantage in submissions.
Belcher is a brown belt in judo and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he uses it to fantastic results. He has won seven of his fights via submission, but the most impressive aspect of his submission game may be his defense.
Remember when he played footsie with Rousimar Palhares and won? I thought so.
Edge: Alan Belcher
Strength and Conditioning
Yushin Okami is one of the strongest middleweights in the division. He cuts a tremendous amount of weight to make 185, and it shows with the dominating control he can exhibit against his opponents.
Meanwhile, Alan Belcher is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the middleweight division, and that includes his cardio. He has never looked gassed in a fight.
Each fighter has an edge over the other in this area.
Alan Belcher has everything to prove in this fight. He's on a three-fight win streak, which could easily be a seven-fight streak if not for a controversial decision against Yoshihiro Akiyama. He is looking for revenge against Yushin Okami and will be more than ready to go come fight night. He is more well-rounded and has more ways to win.
Yushin Okami is looking to get back on the winning track. Sure, he beat Buddy Roberts, but who is Buddy Roberts? Okami hasn't defeated a top-10 opponent in two years, so he'll be looking to do so here. Not only that, but he may have a psychological advantage over Belcher after beating him earlier in his career.
When all is said and done, I expect to see Belcher with his hand raised and Okami with a flashlight in his eyes.
Okami is too one-dimensional at this point, and Belcher has too many weapons at his disposal. I'd expect to see a late TKO finish from Belcher, probably in the third round.
Prediction: Alan Belcher by TKO in third round.