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UFC 104 Review: Yushin Okami Reflects On Loss To Chael Sonnen

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"It was a complete, utter defeat. Reflecting on the fight, I have thoughts like, ‘I should have done this, I should have done that,’ but they are indications that my ability as a fighter proved insufficient. Sonnen was tough. When I stuffed the first takedown, I found myself in the clinch position which is normally my domain; however, I was surprised to be scooped up from underneath and thrown on the mat when I tried to fire off a knee from the position. He was more powerful than I imagined, and left me confounded as to what I should do next, and he kept up with his offense. I have never experienced anything like this before. For this fight, I had the best training possible, so I am disappointed about this loss."

"At the same time, I think I saw the limitation of the environment in which I find myself in (in terms of training). In Japan, I inevitably face a shortage of training partners and I often find myself on the offensive during training. Though I try to improve and diversify my training routine, I probably hit the ceiling at some point. I have the option of uprooting myself and training overseas… if I continue to train in Japan, I feel that I will end up becoming complacent, so I want to go back to square one and challenge myself. I feel that there is a need for me to train with training partners who are bigger than me."

So it seems as though Okami has become the big fish in a small pond in regards to his training camp.  I think it's great that he has enough humility to admit that he needs better training to continue to be a top middleweight.  He's incredibly strong with good top game, but I'd like to see him develop his striking game a bit more.  It'll be interesting to see how the UFC uses him from here on out.  It's clear they didn't see him as the top contender to Anderson Silva, and this loss to Sonnen definitely takes him way out of title contention.  Okami training with ATT, AKA, or Greg Jackson would do wonders for him.  Which camp would you like to see him join?