Japanese mixed martial arts legend Yushin “Thunder” Okami is the latest athlete to join the ONE Championship roster.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced the news via social media on Wednesday, 20 February.
Okami (35-12) enters The Home Of Martial Arts with a wealth of experience under his belt, and he has competed in numerous weight classes — from light heavyweight all the way down to welterweight.
A black belt in judo, Okami got his start in mixed martial arts back in 2002. He competed primarily in his native Japan for various promotions including Pride and Pancrase.
Also, he took part in numerous high-profile grappling tournaments including the famed ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship in 2003.
Please join me in welcoming Japanese MMA legend Yushin Okami to ONE Championship! #WeAreONE
While competing at welterweight, Okami was a powerhouse who managed to earn victories over respected veterans like Brian Foster, Nick Thompson, and multiple-time mixed martial arts World Champion Anderson Silva.
In 2006, the Japanese warrior found a new home in the middleweight division and competed against the top martial artists in North America’s biggest organization.
Some of the athletes he defeated include former Bellator World Champion Hector Lombard, former UFC World Champion Evan Tanner, and multiple-time Pancrase Middleweight World Champion Nate Marquardt.
Okami eventually returned to the welterweight division in 2015, and then back to Japan a year later, where he picked up a pair of wins over Shingo Suzuki and former DEEP Middleweight World Champion Ryuta Sakurai.
Finally, in late 2016, he went back to North America where he spent the next two and a half years competing in both the light heavyweight and welterweight divisions.
Okami is known as an extremely well-rounded competitor with world-class ground skills coupled with knockout power on his feet.
At age 37, the Japanese veteran now joins the world’s largest martial arts organization and will immediately become a contender when he makes his highly-anticipated promotional debut.
With ONE also expanding into “The Land Of The Rising Sun” starting with ONE: A NEW ERA on 31 March, Okami’s signing has come at an exciting time.