What a difference a day makes.
It was only 24 hours ago that Yushin Okami was handed his walking-papers by the UFC and already, “Thunder” is being courted by the WSOF (World Series of Fighting).
WSOF President Ray Sefo and promotion’s matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz, have both Tweeted positive statements regarding the fighter, stating that WSOF was in talks with the former UFC middleweight and that he has a home in the WSOF, should he want one.
Although not the UFC and most assuredly not the same money, the WSOF is not a bad home for Okami to land in, for the time being. The upstart promotion has a three year deal with NBC Sports and as such, singing with them would keep him in the public view in North America.
Also, as the WSOF is not a tournament based promotion, it means that Okami can jump right in and not have to wait for a slot to open up at the beginning of a round-robin, which would be the case if Yushin wanted to sign with Bellator MMA. Of course, this is predicated on the assumption that Bellator would be interested in offering Okami a spot in their next middleweight tournament; something I'm confident they would do.
Most importantly for Okami, it demonstrates market interest in procuring his services as a fighter. As Yushin is the number six ranked middleweight in the world, his signing by any promotion would lend immediate gravitas to their 185 pound division and be a feather in their cap. In essence, whoever signs Okami will be getting a world class fighter, with name recognition and marquis value, and all at a bargain basement price; not a bad deal to say the least.
For a young promotion like the WSOF, that would be something of a coup. Even for the larger and more firmly established Bellator MMA, Okami’s signing would be a significant upgrade in their middleweight division in terms of talent, and would certainly be a name of value to put on their cards. Of course and again, the problem for Bellator in singing Yushin will be their tournament style timetable.
That said, most fans would probably like to see Okami fighting in Bellator as opposed to the WSOF.
Regardless, it’s all positive news for Okami and undoubtedly, he must be greeting these dispatches warmly less than 24 hours after having been cut, by the UFC.