There will be a UFC middleweight title shot on the line this Saturday in Germany when Yushin Okami meets Nate Marquardt in the UFC 122 main event. Even though event promos have already suggested it, Okami wasn’t personally promised a title shot with a win and wasn’t sure he was in line for one. Fighters Only, however, tracked down Joe Silva and got confirmation from the UFC’s head matchmaker himself.
“He’s definitely getting a title shot if he beats Nate, definitely,” he said.
Told that Okami had expressed uncertainty yesterday, Silva responded “Well, he would have had title shots before, Yushin’s problem is that he keeps getting injured. But he’s getting a shot this time if he beats Nate Marquardt, for sure.”
UFC UK president Marshall Zelaznik also confirmed the news this morning at the UFC 122 pre-fight press conference.
“If [Okami] wins Saturday he’ll be fighting for the championship next year.”
If he does win Saturday and doesn’t change the UFC’s mind with a boring performance, Okami says he would prefer to fight Anderson Silva over current title contender Vitor Belfort.
“I’d like to fight against Mr. Anderson Silva.”
“Technically speaking, I won the fight, but I feel I lost that fight,” Okami said. “I admit that he’s a great fighter. That’s the only reason why I’d like to fight against him.”
Of course, beating Nate Marquardt is certainly no given, especially when he has his eyes on the championship prize as well. Marquardt says his desire to be a champion “has reignited [his] fire,” and plans to give his best performance on Saturday.
Image via Sherdog