Sunday, November 14, 2010



I was a bit disappointed in this fight, primarily because it's not one of the most exciting main events in UFC history. Also, despite the fact that both warriors are competing for a title shot, there's no belt on the line yet, so there isn't any tension to add to the lack of action.

Marquardt's game plan, it looked like, was to submit Okami, as he was very active every time the fight went to the ground to try and administer a submission, especially early in the first round when both fighters still weren't sweaty, so it's more difficult to escape from submissions. Marquardt tried for two guillotines in the first round, but Okami escaped them both easily.

Nate Marquardt attempts to submit Yushin Okami
with a Guillotine Choke early in the first round
Okami's game plan looked like it was to play it safe the entire time and win the entire fight on points. He took Marquardt down in the first round and stayed on top most of the time. The judges most probably gave that round t him because of that, but I feel that Marquardt deserved it better, since he was much more active off his back.

Okami controlled Marquardt much of the time in the second round as well, either on the fence or on the ground. While Nate was still very active much of the time, it became very evident that Okami's full weight pushing against him most of the time was fatiguing him very quickly, as he began to evidently slow down in this round.

Most of the final round was on the feet, but it was still very lacking in action most of the time. Marquardt's fatigue was very obvious at this point, and he began to back peddle more than press for the attack. Okami kept on top of him, leading with the footwork and making Marquardt play his game, but still wasn't very active. I believe it's because he respects the one-punch knockout power of Maqrquardt, which was used to KO Demian Maia in only 21 seconds at UFC 102. Okami was still slowly peppering Marquardt with strikes while  maintaining proper distance, and was obviously racking up the points.

Yushin Okami controlled Nate Marquardt on the ground much of the fight
Yushin Okami executes his game plan perfectly and wins the match by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27). Okami obviously saw Marquardt's fight against Chael Sonnen and took some notes, except that Okami played it much safer and didn't opt for the massive ground and pound. It was wise to stay within this game plan the entire time and not take risks, as Okami was already prepared and full of energy to escape and reverse whatever Marquardt had planned for him, whether it be a knockout punch or kick, a takedown, or a submission. It proved very effective as Marquardt gassed himself out by the second round trying to stay active all of the time. Okami also took no major damage during the fight, so he'll have plenty of time for himself to fully prepare against the winner of the Anderson Silva / Vitor Belfort fight at UFC 126 in February.

That said, I still would have really liked an action-packed main event with a beautifully devastating finish. Oh, well.

Check out more amazing photos of UFC 122 at the official UFC website!

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