ONE Championship Signs Former UFC Title Challenger Yushin Okami

UFC: Yushin Okami ONE Championship
Credit: Gleidson Venga/

ONE Championship continues to bolster their roster for 2019, adding Japanese standout and former UFC title challenger Yushin Okami to their roster.

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced the signing of Yushin Okami on Twitter.

Yushin Okami recently completed his second stint with the UFC, which was prompted by a matchup with Ovince Saint Preux on a week’s notice. Mind you, Okami went up two weight classes to fight OSP that night. After falling to OSP, Okami defeated Dhiego Lima, then lost to Alexey Kunchenko. With Okami known for cutting plenty of weight to get to welterweight, it is unknown which weight class he will compete in with ONE Championship to follow their strict weight cutting rules.

Okami began his UFC with an impressive 10-2 run, only falling to former champion Rich Franklin and Chael Sonnen. A decisive win over Nate Marquardt earned him a title shot against the legendary Anderson Silva. “The Spider” knocked out Okami, and a 3-2 run followed, with a loss to Jacare Souza sending the judo practitioner to WSOF.

Okami fell to both David Branch and Jon Fitch in WSOF, as he could not quite reach the heights he did with the UFC. The Japanese welterweight was on one of the first PFL cards, but elected to jump at the opportunity to fight with the UFC rather than participate in one of the million-dollar tournaments.

Yushin Okami joins a talented stable of recent signees for ONE Championship, including former UFC champions Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson, as well as South Korean superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama. With ONE Championship signing a US broadcast deal with Turner Sports to display ONE on the streaming platform B/R Live, expect more high-profile signings such as this one for the Singapore-based promotion.