Belcher had fans believing he could be on his way to title-contendership with a four-fight winning streak going into a December 2012 tilt with Yushin Okami. However, Okami outclassed Belcher in almost every way, reminding the world he was a serviceable but not sublime fighter. A follow-up defeat to Michael Bisping didn’t do Belcher any favors either. In fact, with no fight on the horizon, it’s possible Belcher could be on his way out already.
Fans were left with their jaws dropped yesterday when the UFC decided to hand seasoned veteran Yushin Okami his walking papers despite being a Top 10 middleweight. According to UFC President Dana White, Okami’s status as a gatekeeper who couldn’t quite get over the hump was the main reason for his release. With the UFC’s increased interest in developing fresh talent over established competitors, it seems there are at least a few fighters likely to follow in Okami’s footsteps at some point soon to the chagrin of MMA enthusiasts everywhere. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports