Yushin Okami released by the UFC

OkamiOne time middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami (29-8) was released by the UFC Friday afternoon.

The news was confirmed by UFC officials.

Ranked at #6 in the division, the Japanese fighter recently lost to former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. At UFC Fight Night 28, Jacare TKO’d Okami in the first round of action.

Prior to that loss, “Thunder” was on a roll taking home victories over Buddy Roberts, Hector Lombard and Alan Belcher respectively. In his seven year UFC career, Okami earned the opportunity to fight for the middleweight title in 2011. He challenged Anderson Silva for the title at UFC 134. Okami was stopped by strikes in the second round.

On Twitter, UFC President Dana White responded to a fan questioning why Okami was cut. He wrote “our roster is packed.” In a second response to the fan asking why a top ten ranked fighter would be cut before someone who isn’t ranked, White wrote: “yup u will see people get cut and come back. Always been that way.”

Okami leaves the organization with a record of 13-5.

It was also reported by Yahoo! Sports earlier that TUF 16 finalist Mike Ricci was cut Friday.

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