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UFC 134: Rio Primer - Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami

UFC® RIO Weigh-In at HSBC Arena on Friday, August 26, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC® RIO Weigh-In at HSBC Arena on Friday, August 26, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In the main event of UFC 134: Rio, Anderson Silva (30-4; 13-0 UFC) faces Yushin Okami (26-5; 10-2 UFC). The bout is for Silva's Middleweight championship. If SIlva win, it will be his 9th straight defense of the title. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently has Silva at #1 in the Middleweight division, and Okami at #2. 

This is a fight many fans have been looking forward to for some time, partly because it is a rematch of a somewhat controversial fight. These two first met in January 2006 at a Rumble on the Rock event in Hawaii. There, Silva knocked out Okami, but he did so with an upkick while Okami was on the ground. When Okami could not continue, the bout was ruled a disqualification win for Okami. Silva was upset, stating that the rules had not been properly explained, and feeling that Okami had taken a cowardly way out by not continuing. That disqualification marks Silva's only loss since 2004.

How do these two stack up?

Silva: 36 years old | 6'2" | 77" reach
Okami: 30 years old | 6'2" | 72" reach

What have these two done recently?

Silva: W - Vitor Belfort (KO) | W - Chael Sonnen (SUB) | W - Demian Maia (UD)
Okami: W - Nate Marquardt (UD) | W - Mark Munoz (SD) | W - Lucio Linhares (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Silva gets here with the single most dominant run in UFC history. He's on a record setting 13 fight UFC win streak, and a record setting 8 Middleweight title defenses. He has defeated former champions, cleared out the division, moved up to Light Heavyweight to temporarily dominate, and is looking to clear out the division yet again, starting by avenging his loss to Okami. And he's done it all with the best striking in MMA today. But he's also not far removed from the greatest scare of his UFC career, when a last second triangle saved his title from Chael Sonnen.

Okami has been a workhorse in the UFC Middleweight division for five years now, coming very close to a title shot on multiple occasions. Here, he finally gets that chance. He's improved many aspects of his game while in the UFC, most notably his striking, which he used in his last fight to outpoint Nate Marquardt. For this fight, he seems more focused on his wrestling and ground and pound, working with former foe Sonnen to help defeat The Spider.

Why should you care?

Anderson Silva is the best fighter in MMA today. If you don't enjoy watching him fight, you have no heart.


More UFC 134 Previews from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

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