Japanese veteran Yushin Okami will face undefeated Russian M-1 champ Alexey Kunchenko at UFC Adelaide this December.
The UFC’s next trip to Australia has added a pair of veterans in an intriguing welterweight match-up. On Wednesday, the promotion announced that Yushin Okami would meet Alexey Kunchenko at the event. UFC Adelaide (UFC Fight Night 142) goes down December 2 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
— UFC Japan (@ufc_jp) October 17, 2018
Okami (35-11) is no doubt best known for his middleweight run in 2010, where he picked up a trio of wins that included victories over Mark Munoz and Nate Marquardt. That culminated in a title shot against Anderson Silva the following year. After losing that, and his next bout to Tim Boetsch, Okami would win three straight, then suffer a loss to Jacare Souza in 2013 that saw him cut from the promotion. At the time, UFC President Dana White said the move was made because Okami had become a “gatekeeper.”
Outside the UFC, Okami would then compete in the WSOF/PFL, Deep, and Pancrase. He fought for the WSOF middleweight championship against David Branch (now also fighting for the UFC) in 2014, only to be finished via TKO. Overall, he went 5-2 outside the promotion before being invited back in 2017 to take a short notice fight against Ovince St. Preux at light heavyweight. After losing his return fight, Okami dropped back to welterweight, where he had been competing since 2015, earning a victory over Dhiego Lima at UFC on FOX 29.
Alexey Kunchenko (19-0), an undefeated M-1 champion, made his UFC debut in September, earning a unanimous decision win over former title challenger Thiago Alves. He holds thirteen knockouts to his name.
UFC Adelaide is headlined by a heavyweight showdown between Tai Tuivasa and Junior Dos Santos. Mark Hunt also takes on Justin Willis on the card, in what could be Hunt’s final appearance in the UFC.