Jake Rossen at Sherdog.com Wrote:
Silva fights Vitor Belfort in February; if he and Georges St. Pierre both win their respective bouts (St. Pierre fights in December), there’s absolutely no better time to make that pound-for-pound fight happen. If fans get what they want, Okami might be a year away from contention.
This is something that never crossed my mind as I sat there Saturday night and awaited Antonio Margarito to come out for his title fight with boxing superstar Manny Pacquaio while Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt were background music on my other television. Of course, all this takes into consideration that Georges St. Pierre successfully defends his title against Josh Koscheck next month and Anderson Silva puts an end to the Vitor Belfort hype. While it is sad that the welterweight and middleweight division are devoid of contenders that when a contender(s) are named it sends off a wave of 'What Ifs' for other superfights, but when you are as good as GSP and Anderson Silva, that's exactly what happens. After outpointing Marquardt this past Saturday in Germany, Dana White has stayed steadfast that the Japanese mixed martial artist will now get the next shot at the middleweight champion, however, he does not have to divulge when.
If Georges St. Pierre defeats Josh Koscheck, which is highly likely, his next challenger is most likely but not confirmed to be Jake Shields, who did nothing to stake his claim as a potential threat to GSP at UFC 121. The same can be said for Okami, who was able to best Marquardt but with a style that is tailor made for either Anderson or Vitor to run through. Does this open the door for a huge opportunity for Zuffa to finally pull the trigger on what would possibly be their biggest fight to date? I could easily see Dana and co. matching Jake Shields up with another welterweight prospect before throwing him in there with 'Rush' just to either show proof that he should be there or prove that he isn't quite ready. Just remember how Kenny Florian was named top contender for the lightweight belt after beating Roger Huerta, just for BJ Penn to move up to welterweight and challenge GSP, making Florian take on another contender (Joe Stevenson) as he waited. Yushin Okami is one of those few fighters that could probably benefit from a layoff, especially if he has to prepare himself for Anderson Silva in the near future as that would give him ample opportunity to prepare for the Spider.
While I feel that Yushin Okami and Jake Shields have done enough to get right in there with Anderson Silva and GSP respectively, MMA as a whole is in need of the megafights that it has in it's queue but has yet to give it's fans. As the Boxing vs. MMA debate has retreaded itself, in the current climate of both of those divisions as well as a viable superstar not linked to pro wrestling desperately needed, this is the perfect setup to a huge fight. What do you think?