UFC President Dana White says the cut was nothing personal against Okami. What it came down to is the fact that the UFC keeps bringing in new talent, so they need to get rid of aging veterans who don't deliver.
"He's been with us forever," White said of Okami, who first fought in the UFC in 2006. "He was always a tough guy and was right up there, but it's almost like he'd become a gatekeeper. I like Okami, and you've heard me say this many times, that a win over Yushin Okami meant something.
"But he was never able to get over the hump and win one of those [significant] fights. We have a lot of guys coming in and I've been saying this all year: We have a full roster and there are guys who deserve opportunities. When you bring guys in, someone has to go. That's why these fights are so meaningful."
The UFC also cut Mike Ricci, a runner-up on Season 16 of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Okami, 32, won three of his last four, but he failed to beat the top brawlers in the division. Losses to Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen and Rich Franklin dropped him from favor with the promotion, along with a recent loss to Tim Boetsch.
The silver lining for Okami is that he's still one of the top middleweights in the world, and he'll land on his feet elsewhere.
Bellator MMA could sign him for one of their upcoming tournaments, or the World Series of Fighting is another option.
Getting cut from the UFC isn't as devastating as it was just a few years back, when fighters didn't have many other options.
Should Bellator MMA sign Yushin Okami? Let us know in the comments or tweet the author, @EricHolden.