UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami is coming soon from König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany and the beautiful thing about the event is it can be seen for free on TV. The event this coming Saturday will air on Spike TV via tape delay and for Canadians with Rogers Sportsnet One it can be viewed live and for free starting at 3:00 PM eastern time.

The main event featuring Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami is a title eliminator matchup that will most likely determine the next middle weight title contender after Anderson Silva faces off a gainst current number one contender Vitor Belfort.

Many fans have seen Nate Marquardt make a name for himself in the UFC with 41 fights under his belt, a record of 30 wins, nine losses and 2 draws with his last 13 fights being inside the octagon. Marquardt is known for his explosive striking and overall well rounded game.

Despite Marquardt’s record and talent, there have been some fights that have put his focus in question. Marquardt has fought for the title before and lost to Anderson Silva in similar fashion to the contenders before and after him, first round technical knockout. In addition to already fighting for the title and losing, Marquardt has lost to Thales Leites, a fighter who was removed from the UFC roster three fights later. Finally, the last time Marquardt was fighting for a title shot he was matched up against Chael Sonnen and Marquardt lost a lopsided unanimous decision despite being the heavy favourite.

Marquardt has slowly been developing the track record of an athlete who looks like a front runner, but once it is time to shine on the biggest stage he falters. Yushin Okami is looking to expose Marquardt’s weakness in the big fights and come away with a title shot of his own this coming Saturday, but Okami seems to have a problem with the big fights as well.

Yushin Okami is a veteran of the sport similar to Nate Marquardt, but hasn’t been afforded the same kind of exposure in America as his opponent. Regardless of his lack of notoriety with the fans, Okami has amassed a record of 25 wins and five losses. Unfortunately for Okami, similar to his opponent Nate Marquardt he has failed to produce when faced with a match that had title implications on the line.

Despite getting cold feet in the big fights, one of these two fighters are going to get their shot at the title after this coming Saturday and Yushin Okami definitely has the tools to get the job done.

Yushin Okami is going to have to use his well roundedness to come away with the victory and that starts with his striking. Yushin Okami isn’t the most feared striker on the planet, but for the most part his striking has always been good enough to hang in with the best of them. Out of Okami’s five losses, one has been by knockout or technical knockout, the rest have been decision losses. Okami’s record tells the story of a guy who can take the best shots and keep on coming.

Nobody is looking for Okami to knock Nate Marquardt clean out or even damage him at all in the stand up, but Okami definitely needs to use his striking efficiently in order to setup his biggest asset. Yushin Okami’s claim to fame in the octagon is his wrestling and grappling ability.

Yushin Okami is a former competitor in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, despite having never won the coveted tournament it is reserved for the top 16 grapplers in the world. Of Course Nate Marquardt has competed in ADCC before as well and is a strong grappler in his own right. The one problem for Marquardt is what happened against former Greco Roman wrestling Olympic alternate Chael Sonnen in his last loss. Marquardt spent the fight against Sonnen on his back and lost a one sided decision, not being able to finish any submission attempts despite the fact that Sonnen has close to a dozen submission losses on his record.

Look for Yushin Okami to use his striking to setup take downs and despite being involved in a lot of decisions, Marquardt can expect to see some more offense from Okami than he did Chael Sonnen.

Unlike Chael Sonnen, Yushin Okami has never lost via submission and he has finished over half of his fights. Yushin Okami maybe not the same level wrestler as Chael Sonnen is, but with the complete lack of takedown defense and inability to advance position Marquardt displayed in his last loss, it isn’t going to take an Olympic calibre wrestler to put Nate Marquardt on his back again.

This November 13th at UFC 122, if Yushin Okami uses his striking to set up his takedowns and uses his wrestling to control Nate Marquardt on the ground expect to see Okami’s hand raised and expect to see him fighting for the title sometime in 2011.