Dana White: Yushin Okami Had Become A Gatekeeper
Yushin Okami joined a growing list of ranked UFC fighters to be cut by the management. We learned earlier this week that Okami had been released following his first round TKO loss to Jacare Souza in Brazil, Okami’s first loss in almost two years.
Okami, a one-time title challenger, had served with the UFC since 2006 and many fans attributed his release to the lack of finishes on his recent resume. UFC president Dana White spoke with Yahoo Sports to clarify the situation:
“He’s been with us forever. He was always a tough guy and was right up there, but it’s almost like he’d become a gatekeeper. I like Okami, and you’ve heard me say this many times, that a win over Yushin Okami meant something. But, he was never able to get over the hump and win one of those [significant] fights. We have a lot of guys coming in and I’ve been saying this all year: We have a full roster and there are guys who deserve opportunities. When you bring guys in, someone has to go. That’s why these fights are so meaningful.”
Heres a guy that’s beaten Hector Lombard, Alan Belcher, Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt, Evan Tanner among others during his time in the UFC. I’d say that Okami has won many of his significant fights.
He was 3-1 in his last four outings, although it was a very feeble appearance against Souza; I’m not really sure that I agree with DW here. When you consider how long the UFC kept guys like Chael Sonnen, Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson and many others around with losing streaks, it certainly seems harsh.
I think the consensus may be right here, Okami is not entertaining enough for the UFC to keep around. This is a very cut throat business, and the UFC controls it with an iron fist. The question is: How much does it actually take to lose your job in the UFC?
I feel bad for Okami, but I’m sure that many more will join him in Bellator/WSOF in the months to come.