Former UFC middleweight Yushin Okami has found a new home in the World Series of Fighting (WSOF).
As confirmed today, to Ariel Helwani and by the promotion’s president Ray Sefo, the 13 & 5 UFC veteran has been signed to a multi-fight deal with the upstart MMA brand and now joins former UFC vets Josh Burkman, Jon Fitch and Anthony Johnson, as being marquee fighters endorsed to the WSOF banner.
“Thunder” was cut by the senior circuit two weeks ago after sustaining a devastating TKO loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at Ultimate Fight Night 28, this past September 4th. Post cut, of the two most important remaining (significant) North American MMA promotions left, Bellator MMA & the WSOF, only the latter showed any interest in the fighter.
For their part, Bellator MMA and their President Bjorn Rebney appeared to be on the fence about signing Okami. However, in review of the circumstances, as Bellator is a tournament based promotion and already in the midst of their season, Bellator had / would have had no call to sign Yushin.
As it stands, Okami is set to make his debut sometime in and around March of next year, with neither an opponent, nor specific date being selected or set.
In all, this marks a good month for the WSOF. Not only have they signed another marquee UFC fighter and one of substantial quality, but they also purchased the Aggression Fighting Championship (AFG) promotion, based in Canada.
With the purchase, the WSOF is looking to expand north of the border and to grow their brand, with their first export taking place this December 7th, at Vancouver’s PNE Agrodome. The main event will feature heavy-handed light-heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Mike “Mak” Kyle.
Congratulations to Yushin. The WSOF is a solid promotion and a growing concern. He should do well over there, and with a few “exciting” wins he could easily find himself back in the UFC’s Octagon.
Congratulations to the WSOF, too. They got a great fighter and probably at a good price.