Cane drops to middleweight to face former title challenger
Okami will step into the Octagon with a losing streak for the first time in his career, and Cane will step in for the first time as a middleweight. The two fighters have agreed to an Aug. 11 bout at UFC 150 in Denver. The news was first reported by the Denver Post, which broke the story that the pay-per-view will take place in Denver.
UFC 150 will take place at the Pepsi Center and will be the UFC’s fifth trip to Denver proper and seventh to the Denver metro area. Denver was the location of UFC 1 and UFC 2 nearly 20 years ago, then UFC: The Ultimate Ultimate in 1995. Last September, the UFC played the Pepsi Center for the first time with UFC 135, headlined by a light heavyweight title defense for Jon Jones against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The UFC has also made two Fight Night trips to the north Denver suburb of Broomfield, Colo.
Okami (26-7, 10-4 UFC) got a shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title last year at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The bout had extra intrigue since Okami, technically, was the last fighter to beat Silva – though it came because Silva was disqualified for an illegal upkick in a 2006 Rumble on the Rock event in Hawaii. But Silva had little trouble with Okami in the rematch, getting a TKO stoppage in the second round after twice knocking his Japanese opponent down.
Okami followed that loss up with a fight against Tim Boetsch in his native Japan when the UFC returned to that country in February for UFC 144. Okami was in total control for the first two rounds of the fight, but Boetsch came out strong in the third round and notched a surprise TKO win just 54 seconds into the last round. That loss gave Okami the first losing streak of his career of more than 30 fights.
Cane (12-4, 1 NC, 4-4 UFC) will return for the first time in nearly a year. He last fought at UFC 134 last August, a first-round TKO loss to Stanislav Nedkov in his home country of Brazil. That loss gave Cane three TKO losses in his last four fights with the lone victory coming against Eliot Marshall at UFC 128 in a fight Marshall took on short notice to return to the UFC. The other two losses in that stretch have come against Cyrille Diabate and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.