The move to cut top contender Yushin Okami from the UFC was baffling to a lot of fans, as Okami might not be a fan favorite, but in the UFC’s lexicon, he was always in the mix. After just one loss he was cut, which seems to go against how the UFC does business, yet, it happened. When Dana White was pressed on the issue, he said that it was because Okami has become a “gatekeeper.”
“Yushin Okami has been there forever and I’ve said many times I have nothing but respect for Yushin Okami,” White told the media on Sunday. “He’s one of the best Japanese fighters ever. But a guy gets to a point where he becomes the gatekeeper.”
“It’s time for Yushin Okami to go out and test himself outside of the UFC, get some wins and maybe come back,” he said. “Yushin Okami had every opportunity in the world, taking on all the best. He even got a title shot and didn’t win. It is what it is. It’s no different than the NFL, soccer or any other sport.”
Coming from a company who employs what feels like every fighter of even moderate value, cutting a “gatekeeper” seems strange, especially with guys like Chris Leben under contract still.