UFC releases Yushin Okami

Updated: September 30, 2013, 12:04 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Japanese middleweight Yushin Okami has been released by the UFC following an 18-fight run with the promotion that began in 2006.

ESPN.com confirmed Okami's release with UFC officials Friday.

Okami (29-8) is ranked as the No. 8 middleweight in the world, according to ESPN.com. His record in the UFC stands at 13-5, including a TKO loss to former 185-pound champion Anderson Silva in a 2011 title fight.

Okami suffered a first-round TKO loss to Ronaldo Souza at UFC Fight Night 28 earlier this month in Brazil. Prior to the loss, Okami had won three in a row.

UFC president Dana White has referred to Okami as the best fighter ever to emerge from Japan.

The 32-year-old holds notable wins over Evan Tanner, Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt, Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard.

White, in a response to a fan question on Twitter, cited a "packed roster" as the reason behind Okami's release.

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