Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 | 6:42 p.m.
For the second time this year, UFC middleweight Nate Marquardt found himself one fight away from a rematch against current champion Anderson Silva.
And for the second time this year, he fell just short.
Japanese middleweight Yushin Okami (26-5) edged out Marquardt (30-10-2) in a unanimous decision Saturday in the UFC 122 main event in Oberhausen, Germany.
Marquardt had another title run end earlier this year when he dropped a unanimous decision to Chael Sonnen in February.
In a fight where neither fighter seemed able to establish much of an offense, Okami did enough work on his feet and mixed in a few timely takedowns to take the decision by scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
The win puts Okami in line for a shot at the middleweight title, which he’ll receive after an already scheduled fight between Silva and Vitor Belfort in February.
“Nate is a great fighter, but I thought I deserved (the decision),” Okami said. “I’m ready for the championship.”
Marquardt came close to ending the fight in the first round with a guillotine choke but may have given up a chance at winning the round when Okami slipped out of it and worked back to his feet.
After a slow second round that saw some German fans booing for lack action, Okami picked up the pace in the third. Showing off improved standup skills, Okami went on the attack throughout the round and, despite being taken down in the fight’s final minute, seemed to have the clear advantage in the frame.
Okami is actually one of four fighters to hold a professional win over Silva. In 2006, he took a win by disqualification after it was ruled Silva delivered an illegal kick in the first round.
Both fighters have expressed interest in a rematch in the past.
Earlier in the night, Las Vegas-based fighter Amir Sadollah (4-2) scored a unanimous decision win over German fighter Peter Sobotta (8-4).
Using a strategy based on his solid Muay Thai skills, Sadollah dominated Sobotta through much of the fight and managed to pitch a full shutout on the scorecards, winning by unanimous scores of 30-27.