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UFC Japan video recap: Saint Preux puts Okami out with early Von Flue Choke

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Ovince Saint Preux scores his third Von Flue choke win in the UFC, this time against Yushin Okami

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Okami vs Saint Preux Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports

After four years fighting in various organizations, MMA veteran Yushin Okami returned to the UFC as the late replacement for Shogun Rua. Unfortunately for him, his Octagon comeback was ended within three minutes when he was choked out by Ovince Saint Preux.

What was the high point of the fight?

The entire fight was a grappling match between the two fighters. Okami immediately shot in for a single leg takedown as soon as the fight commenced, and as it was stuffed by Saint Preux, he immediately transitioned into half guard. He had his good looks when he had OSP elevated off the mat, as he seemed to look for a sweep, but he instead continued to play from bottom position.

As they continued to transition from one position to another, Saint Preux saw the opening for what is turning out to be his signature finisher, the Von Flue choke. Okami made the crucial mistake of getting a hold of his opponent’s head while in a compromising position, and as soon as Saint Preux was able to move to side control, he was able to further sink the choke in. Okami was unable to tap, which resulted to him being choked unconscious for a few seconds.

Where do these two go from here?

Saint Preux is expected to move further up the rankings with his win, but it would likely take a few more before he can secure another title fight. He did say he still intends to fight Shogun, and it might be the best option for him as of the moment.

UFC president Dana White mentioned in a 2013 interview that their reason for releasing Okami from the roster despite being in good standing is that he “became a gatekeeper.” I would not be surprised if it was a one-and-done deal for Okami with the UFC, but he could likely get another fight at his more natural weight class.

Watch it now, later or never?

The UFC now has a total of five Von Flue choke wins on record, three of them courtesy of Saint Preux. It was an unorthodox choke that was perfectly executed, which makes it worth checking out sooner than later.