UFC 150: August 11, 2012 Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado UFC Middleweight Contender Yushin Okami (-220) Profile: The last person to technically ‘”defeat” UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Yushin Okami (26-7) has had a masterful run in the UFC, going 10-2 over the last five years, with big wins over such names as Alan Belcher, Mike Swick, Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt and the late Evan Tanner to name a few. Okami has always been hovering around the top of the middleweight division, and last year he finally got his shot to fight for the title at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro against champion Anderson Silva. However, Silva made quick work of Okami, defeating him via TKO in the second round. Okami looked to bounce back in his home country of Japan against rising middleweight Tim Boetsch at UFC 144, and after two dominant rounds in his favor, he was caught by a barrage of fists and lost by TKO in the third. Now off the first back-to-back losses of his career, he will take on fellow middleweight contender Rousimar Palhares at UFC 150. UFC Middleweight Contender Rousimar Palhares (+170) Profile: The middleweight monster, Rousimar Palhares (14-4), is known and feared for his slick submission skills. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has 10 submissions in his 14 wins, with six of them coming by way of heel-hook. Now the 32 year-old Brazilian grappler is looking to bounce back from his loss to Alan Belcher earlier this year, so he can get back in the mix for middleweight title contendership. Palhares had won three straight bouts prior to the setback against Belcher, which dropped him to 7-3 in the UFC with his other losses coming to Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson. He replaces an injured Luiz Cane and will step in against fellow middleweight contender Yushin Okami on short notice at UFC 150. Opening UFC 150 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Okami a solid-220 favorite (bet $220 to win $100) while Palhares opened as a +170 underdog (bet $100 to win $170) according to the MMA odds. Okami has an obvious edge in experience heading into UFC 150 since he has nearly twice as many fights as Palhares, who turned in a very disappointing performance against Alan Belcher despite closing as a moderate -215 favorite. Okami has never lost three straight bouts and had never lost two in a row prior to his curent skid. However, he has also fought two of the top six middleweights during that stretch according to the MMAOB MMA fighter rankings in Boetsch and Silva. While Palhares certainly has tremendous strength and is an outstanding grabbler, his opponent has never been submitted, and nearly half of Okami’s wins have come by decision. That makes this a very difficult matchup for Palhares and definitely favors Okami.