No disrespect to Thunder, but Nate the Great seemed like he was rolling.
Since getting blasted by UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva back in 2007, the 31-year-old former Kind of Pancrase Middleweight Champion had done pretty much nothing but dominate. He thrashed Jeremy Horn before losing a split decision to Thales Leitas, a result made all the more difficult to swallow because of point deductions suffered by Marquardt during the second and third rounds.
Then, he took apart three perilous foes in Martin Kampmann (TKO), Wilson Gouveia (TKO) and Demian Maia (KO) in consecutive fights before running into Chael Sonnen on the wrong day.
After the second hiccup, Nate got right back to his devastating ways with a stoppage of Rousimar Palhares at 3:28 of the opening round. In other words, he'd been cruising, and Yushin didn't profile exactly like the couple of brawlers who'd given Marquardt what little trouble he'd experienced recently.
Yet Okami did enough to take one of the first two rounds before definitively grabbing the final stanza for the unanimous decision. He held his own on his feet, even scoring with strikes of his own and did the same on the ground.
In so doing, Yushin Okami slid next in line for a middleweight title shot and sent a minor shock through the MMA landscape.
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