YUSHIN "THUNDER" OKAMI
Yushin "Thunder" Okami (born July 21, 1981) became a legend in the Japanese mixed martial arts world when he challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title in 2011.
Yushin first wanted to be a pro-wrestler.
After graduating from high school where he competed in judo, Yushin participated in the tryout of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Not just once. Twice. He failed both times. Yushin felt he needed to be physically stronger. That is when his friend recommended Yushin to join team Wajiutsu Keishukai.
Six months later, Yushin made his pro MMA debut and won PRE-PRIDE tournament.
After fighting for top MMA promotions like M-1 Global, PRIDE Bushido, K-1 HERO'S and Rumble on the Rock, in 2006, Yushin signed with the UFC.
Yushin won 9 out of first 11 fights in the Octagon and earned a title shot against Silva, and became the very first Japanese fighter to fight in the UFC title fight.
However, although he posted an impressive record of 18-5 in the Octagon, after losing to Ronald "Jacare" Souza in 2013, Yushin was abruptly released by UFC.
Yushin quickly signed with the World Series of Fighting, posted 1-2 record then fought for the Professional Fight League then made a comeback to the UFC by accepting a last-minute offer to face Ovince St. Preux a light-heavyweight division. Afer this fight, Yushin went back to welterweight, had two more fights in the UFC but once again he was released in 2019.
Just few months later Yushin signed with the ONE Championship. He is currently 1-2 in a Singapore-based MMA promotion.
MMA record: 34-14-0 / height: 6'2" (188 cm) / weight: 185 lbs (83.9 kg)