After Yushin Okami was announced as the main event replacement for Martin Kampmann at UFC 72 there were rumors that Rich Franklin was given his choice between Okami or recent WEC-signee Paulo Filho. This appears to not have been the case after all.
“It took a couple of days before they came back with a name for me. Actually, they had thrown Paulo Filho and Yushin Okami. And so Monte and I were discussing the whole scenario, and I told Monte [Cox] to just let me know who the UFC decides to come back with.S everal days later they came back with Yushin Okami as the replacement. I said that’s fine. Either way, I was fine. I essentially said, ‘Cool, let me know what they decide.'”
The UFC’s choice to go with Okami makes sense. He is a marketable name because he is on a 6 fight winning streak including winning 4 straight in the UFC. Yushin also defeated a well known fighter in Mike Swick at UFC 69 so he is recognizable by most UFC fans as contender in the division giving his main event fight at UFC 72 more credibility.
On the other hand Filho is a relative unknown to most UFC fans and the UFC likely opted to have him build up his name recognition and credibility as a title contender in the WEC before he will make a jump to the UFC, likely sometime next year.