Former UFC contender Yushin Okami makes World Series of Fighting debut on March 29th

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Once a title challenger, middleweight Yushin Okami has entered the post-UFC phase of his career, as he makes his World Series of Fighting debut at the end of the month.

Yushin Okami was in a UFC title fight in 2011, a main card fighter on the annual year-end blockbuster PPV in 2012, and a co-main event attraction in September 2013. He's now out of the UFC following his TKO loss to Jacare Souza, despite a 6-3 record in his last 9 and a 3 fight win streak prior to the Jacare loss. World Series of Fighting snapped up the Japanese middleweight, and he'll be making his promotional debut on March 29th against Bulgaria's Svetlozar Savov.

Savov (12-4) is also making his WSOF first appearance, having spent his time in Europe competing for various organizations. He's a submission specialist who is keen on finishing fights with guillotine chokes and arm-triangles. You can see a sampling of his work against Markus DiGallo here, as he works on an arm-triangle choke. The 25-year-old has gone the distance just once in his 12 career victories.

Okami (29-8) was a surprise cut -- he was still ranked in the top 10 at the time of his release -- and much like the Jon Fitch axing, the UFC's reasoning was "too expensive, no longer a contender". Fitch signed with WSOF and has been a disappointment, getting choked unconscious vs. Josh Burkman and then needing to win the last 2 rounds to beat heavy underdog Marcelo Alfaya. Okami is expected to be a title contender at 185 lbs, and presumably a win for him should set him up against the winner of Jesse Taylor vs. Dave Branch, which will decide the inaugural champion.

WSOF 9 airs live on NBC Sports Network, with Rousimar Palhares fighting welterweight champion Steve Carl in the main event.

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