During UFC 122, Yushin Okami overcame Nate Marquardt, beating him by unanimous decision.
During the fight, the two scrambled on the ground for a bit, though this was mainly a standing battle. Although much of the fight involved strategic pummeling in the clinch, the rest was a major disappointment.
How could anyone see either of these fighters actually challenging Anderson Silva?
Marquardt was hanging back for much of the fight, relying on that big right hand and looking for the knockout punch. Okami fought more strategically on the whole, but he wasn't able to land anything significant against Marquardt.
Nobody's doubting either of these two fighters' prowess in the Octagon, but the truth of the matter is that had Silva faced either of them that night, he would have probably beaten them in record time.
Being that both Marquardt and Okami have already fought Silva, you would think that either of them would want to send a message to the champ showing how much they have improved since the last time they fought.
Marquardt was beaten by TKO in round 1 against Silva after the ref didn't let them fight it out on the ground for very long. Silva swept Marquardt and ended up in his guard and quickly landed side mount, hammer fisting Marquardt until the ref stopped it a short time after.
As for Okami vs. Silva, you might have been misled by listening to the UFC marketing. They mentioned that Okami was the last person to beat Silva. Yes and no, really.
While it's true that Okami technically won against Silva, it was only a W on paper. Okami had taken Silva down, and Silva did an illegal up kick, nearly knocking Okami completely unconscious. Since it was against the rules of Rumble on the Rock 8, Silva was disqualified.
So did Okami really beat Silva? No. Did he win? Yes. Based on his last performance against Silva and his recent one against Marquardt, does he have what it takes to beat Silva? Apparently not.
While Okami was more of the aggressor in his fight with Marquardt, he wasn't exactly fighting aggressively; or more specifically, he wasn't fighting as aggressively as he would need to have a legitimate chance against Silva. In their first meeting, Silva was taken down, but only after a number of failed attempts where Silva punished Okami's legs in the process.
In seeing the Okami that faced Silva in 2006 and the Okami that faced Marquardt, it shows that there is absolutely little hope for him to bring a legitimate fight to him a second time around.
And in the case of Marquardt, if he came in to fight Silva the same way he fought Okami, it would be nothing short of a night and day difference from his first meeting, where he aggressively brought the fight to the ground (though he still wasn't successful).
Although Okami could conceivably pull off a similar performance against Silva as that of Chael Sonnen, without the aggression needed, it would be a dismal approach, hardly promoting any more hope than, say, Demian Maia.
Sonnen absolutely man handled Marquardt, and using that same aggression, he nearly defeated Silva. Granted that aggression may have come about by means of PEDs, the level of Sonnen's aggressive ground-and-pound against Silva showed what it takes to at least match and possibly best "The Spider."
After Okami's fight against Marquardt, it appears that he may not have what it takes to get a legitimate win against Silva.
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