World Series of Fighting 9 Fight Breakdown: Yushin Okami (-735) vs. Stevlozar Savov (+475)

Yushin Okami One of the main card bouts at Word Series of Fighting 9 is a three-round middleweight bout between Yushin “Thunder” Okami and Svetlozar Savov. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Okami as a -735 favorite (bet $735 to win $100) while Savov is a +475 underdog (bet $100 to win $475). MMA oddsmaker originally opened up Okami at -705 and Savov at +435, meaning some action has come in on the favorite Okami. I agree with the action on Okami as I am picking him to win this fight. Here’s why. Okami (29-8) is one of the most successful middleweight fighters in MMA history and he went 13-5 over the course of seven years while fighting in the UFC. But after being knocked out by Jacare Souza last September — his third T/KO loss in his last six outings — the UFC decided to release him and let him move on in his career. He ended up signing with WSOF, and in his first fight with the promotion he has been given a layup fight against Savov, who matches up stylistically in Okami’s favor. A powerful grappler, Okami is also a solid fighter on the feet and has a nice jab that he uses to keep distance. His chin is definitely a question mark at this point of his career, but considering it was Jacare, Anderson Silva and Tim Boetsch who knocked him out, maybe the UFC was too quick in cutting him. Regardless, he faces Savov in his WSOF debut and if he wins the fight he will get a title shot. Savov (12-4) is making his WSOF debut against by far the best opponent he’s ever faced in Okami. The 25-year-old Savov is a decent grappler and has good submissions, but overall he hasn’t proven himself to be a great talent and it’s very surprising WSOF is throwing him to the wolves here against Okami. Although he has decent grappling, it pales in comparison to Okami and his striking isn’t as good as Okami’s, either. Savov’s best route to victory here is a knockout of Okami, which is easier said that done against someone who has proven himself to be one of the best middleweights in the world. Other than that he could catch Okami in a guillotine choke, but both these paths to victory are very unlikely and that’s the reason why Savov is such a big dog in this spot. Although Okami has a suspect chin, I don’t think Savov is the guy to test it and I don’t see Okami giving him the chance to anyways as I see “Thunder” using his grappling advantage in this fight to take his opponent to the ground, beat him up, and earn either a stoppage victory or a clear-cut decision on the judges’ scorecards. Okami is a deserved -735 favorite in this spot and I think he could be even higher. Although the decline of Okami’s chin is worrisome, Savov really isn’t the guy to catch him and I really think Okami dominates this fight. It’s a favorite or pass situation here — either include Okami in your parlay to lessen the juice or just pass this fight altogether. I’m also eyeing the UNDER, as the total has been set at 2.5 rounds and the UNDER is available at +155. I think Okami gets a finish here and those are some nice odds, but coming off multiple T/KO losses he may elect to play it safe and just grind Savov out so I will wait and hope it reaches +200 before making a play.

Written by Adam Martin.

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