Nate Marquardt To Face Yushin Okami At UFC 122The main event for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Germany has changed. UFC 122, set for November 13th, will now be headlined by a middleweight bout between former UFC title challenger Nate “The Great” Marquardt and top contender Yushin “Thunder” Okami.

Okami was originally set to face former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort in the main event, but Belfort was removed from the fight on Tuesday. Instead, Marquardt will step in to face the Japanese standout in a number one contender’s bout to determine a title challenger.

Marquardt (30-9-2) challenged reigning UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva for the title at UFC 73, but was stopped by punches late in the first round. He has since won five of his last seven fights, with a controversial loss to Thales Leites and a one-sided defeat at the hands of recent title challenger Chael Sonnen. Most recently, Marquardt stopped Rousimar “Toquinho” Palahares in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 22 bout last week, but the fight ended in a controversial manner amidst accusations that Marquardt had greased. While vindicated, Marquardt aims to prove critics wrong and could do so with a win over Okami.

Okami (25-5-0) has also experienced considerable success inside the Octagon, but has come up just short in a pair of UFC title contender bouts. Once relegated to the unaired undercard after a series of workmanlike decision victories, Okami put on one of the best performances of his UFC career when he dismantled Lucio “Spartan” Linhares at UFC Fight Night 21. The second-round stoppage victory got Okami back on track after a tough loss to Sonnen and he followed that up with a win over Mark Munoz on August 1st. Okami will finally get a shot at the UFC Middleweight Championship, and possibly a rematch with Anderson Silva, if he is able to get past former seven-time King of Pancrase Marquardt.

UFC 122 takes place on November 13th at the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.



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