The UFC has released longtime middleweight contender Yushin Okami after more than seven years with the organization.
Okami (29-8) is coming off a first-round TKO loss to Ronaldo Souza at UFC Fight Night 28 on Sept. 4 in Brazil, but the move comes as a surprise to many; the strong 185-pounder amassed a 13-5 record in the UFC and prior to his loss to Souza had won three straight.
The 32-year-old is currently the No. 6-ranked UFC middleweight.
In his UFC career, Okami had wins over notable fighters Nate Marquardt, Alan Belcher, Mark Munoz, former Bellator champ Hector Lombard, late former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, and also fought for a title.
After a 10-2 start to his UFC career, the Kanagawa, Japan native earned a title shot at UFC 134 against then-champion Anderson Silva. He lost that fight by second-round TKO but earned worldwide recognition in doing so.
Okami has spent more time in the Octagon than any other middleweight in the promotion’s history at three hours, 40 minutes and 20 seconds. Okami also ranks third in the division in all-time takedowns, strikes landed and has the second best takedown defence in the division’s history.