Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
In a Middleweight fight at UFC 150, former #1 contender Yushin Okami (26-7 MMA; 10-4 UFC) takes on Buddy Roberts (12-2 MMA; 1-0 UFC). Okami is ranked as the #9 Middleweight in the world according to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, while Roberts is unranked. The UFC 150 PPV airs live Saturday night August 11 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
In comparison to other recent cards, UFC 150 has managed to stay relatively injury free, but this is the one fight that has seen its share of changes. Originally scheduled as Okami vs. Luiz Cane, it then switched to Okami vs. Rousimar Palhares, and now Okami vs. Roberts. Both of those previous fights held a lot of intrigue. This one? Not so much. Okami is in pure gatekeeper mode here, while Roberts will be trying to pull off the massive upset.
How do these two stack up?
Okami: 31 years old | 6'2" | 72" reach
Roberts: 29 years old | 6'2"
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Yushin Okami has been a fixture of the UFC Middleweight division for 6 years, consistently taking on the division's best. His long awaited title shot came last year, and Okami was easily dispatched by Anderson Silva. He came back with 2 rounds of a solid performance against Tim Boetsch, only to see Boetsch rally in the 3rd round and score the come from behind win. I can't really envision Okami ever making it back into title contention, and he's not enough of a name to draw many high profile fights, so this sort of gatekeeper fight is probably what you can expect a lot of in his future. It's a role he's well suited for, though he is in dire need of a win here.
Buddy Roberts is a Greg Jackson trainee with 5 years professional experience. Before coming to the UFC, his biggest win came against journeyman Tony Lopez. He was successful in his UFC debut in June, using his technique to take a decision win. Roberts is not a bad prospect, but this is a giant step up in competition for him and he'll need to fight flawlessly to get past Okami.
Why should you care?
To see if Okami bounces back I guess. If he loses here, it could likely spell the end of his UFC career, while making Roberts a sudden name to watch. But I don't see that happening. Not much else to say here - this isn't a fantastic fight.
More UFC 150 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.