It wasn't pretty, but Yushin Okami took a unanimous decision over Nate Marquardt at UFC 122. UFC boss Dana White promised Okami would receive a title shot against the winner of UFC 126's Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort middleweight title fight.
Okami came out southpaw and took center cage in his usual stalking manner. Okami landed the first punch with a jab. Okami shot in, got stuffed badly and Marquardt went for a guillotine. He abandoned the hold but ended up in Okami's guard. Marquardt passed to half guard. Okami reversed position when Marquardt went for a guillotine. Okami fired punches from Nate's guard. Marquardt went for a heel hook but Okami escaped and they returned to their feet. Okami landed a straight left and immediately went for a single leg. Marquardt fended him off and they ended up clinched against the cage. Marquardt with a knee. Okami forced him down to finish the round.
Marquardt loaded up his right hand in the second. Okami shot in and Marquardt sprawled and fired an uppercut. Marquardt shot in for a single and got nowhere. Okami shot in, Marquardt stuffed it, another clinch against the cage. Knee to the body from Okami. Marquardt answered with a knee and took Okami down hard. Okami stood up but Marquardt took him right back down then Okami got right back up. Marquardt landed a kick and Okami shot in again. They fought hard for control with Okami digging deep for a double leg and then switching to a single. Marquardt fought free. Okami fired punches and forced Nate back against the cage. Okami came in for a flying knee and Marquardt timed his counter punch perfectly.
Okami again took the center of the Octagon in round three, forcing Marquardt back against the cage and landing with punches. Marquardt attempted to fight his way off the fence but Okami kept coming forward. Okami landing with jabs. They exchange and Marquardt outlands Okami. Again. Marquardt clinches, lands some uppercuts and gets a single leg. Okami works for a kimura from bottom and then stands. Okami stalking Nate down and landing. Marquardt firing back.
Middleweight perennial contenders Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami met at UFC 122. The fight had clear title implications, although Dana White made no promises for an immediate title shot for the winner. Okami had originally been scheduled to face Vitor Belfort, but Belfort moved up to a title fight when Chael Sonnen caught a suspension for failing a drug test at UFC 117.