UFC 150: August 11, 2012 Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado UFC Middleweight Contender Yushin Okami (-525) 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 Buddy Roberts at UFC 150. UFC Middleweight Contender Buddy Roberts (+375) Profile: The ready to rumble Buddy Roberts (12-2) comes out of Jackson’s MMA with an all-around game and a thirst for success in the UFC. After five years on the independent circuit, the 29-year-old Roberts made his UFC debut at UFC on FX 3 and took a victory home with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Caio Magalhaes. Roberts has a diversified skill set and can beat an opponent in a number of ways, which is backed up by his record of four knockouts, five submissions and three decisions among his 12 wins. This five-year MMA veteran may lack UFC experience, but he will be a tough fight for any up-and- comer in the middleweight division. Opening UFC 150 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Okami a large -525 favorite (bet $525 to win $100) against Roberts, who opened as a +375 underdog (bet $100 to win $375) according to the MMA odds. Okami was originally scheduled to face Rousimar Palhares at UFC 150, but he was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. Now Okami must meet a much less experienced opponent in Roberts, who has just one UFC fight under his belt and will be taking a big step up in competition. Perhaps the only advantage Roberts will have in this bout is that Okami had been training for Palhares and will not have much time to switch gears and study his new opponent within a two-week period leading up to the fight. However, Roberts is in the same boat, trying to prepare an effective game plan on short notice. The big difference obviously is that he is not accustomed to the spotlight of being on a main card and could struggle or thrive under pressure.