If UFC 150 decreed anything, it was that there should be a Jake Shields/Yushin Okami rematch. I mean, pitting two of the middleweight division’s most stimulating fighters together makes nothing but sense, no? That’s where Shields’ coach, Cesar Gracie seems to think the UFC may be leaning, even though there is absolutely no fan demand for it, and the UFC has not made even the slightest indication of it, and Okami is still too fresh off his jab knockout by Anderson Silva to be in a fight with one of the only quality middleweights not to have already gotten his ass kicked by Anderson Silva. Said Gracie:
“I think people have seen some really great fights of Jake’s where he’s tapped people out with one-arm guillotines and stuff from the mount and all these other things he’s done, armlocks and everything, and I think for Jake, he needs to really get back into that, to finishing. We’re not going to change a tiger at this point in the game. We have to [say], ‘Look, Jake. This is what got you here. It’s finishing people. You’re a world-class grappler. Let’s focus on finishing.’ There’s so many great 185-pounders. Jake has already fought Okami. Jake beat Okami. Hopefully they’re going to give him somebody else, is what I’m hoping for, but like I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did want that matchup.”
If you’ve never seen the first fight I highly recommend it…if you’re recovering from a broken hip and are bedridden, or wasting away in the can, or lack any semblance of a social life. Otherwise, let me break it down for you– takedown attempt, clinch, takedown, rinse, repeat. I get the logic of Gracie. Okami is a respectable name, and he’s confident Jake can beat him. But if he’s trying to promote his guy as a submission finisher when he hasn’t scored a tap in over three years, Okami is not the guy he should be aiming for. Yush can be stopped via strikes, but Jake lacks the power to turn out lights. He can also be outworked to a decision, but no one has ever looked great outworking Yushin Okami.
There are other high-profile middleweights out there who can up Shields’ stock as well as perhaps provide the opportunity for a submission finish that Gracie should be gunning for: Mark Munoz, Brian Stann, and Tim Boetsch come to mind. But Okami? Shit, that’s a losing proposition there, even if Jake wins.