Norifumi Yamamoto

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Norifumi Yamamoto
Born (1977-03-15) March 15, 1977 (age 37)
Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Other names Kid
Nationality Japanese
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight 135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb)
Division Bantamweight (2010-present)
Featherweight (2002-2009)
Lightweight (2001)
Reach 66 inch (168 cm)
Style Kickboxing, Wrestling
Stance Southpaw
Fighting out of Tokyo, Japan
Team Krazy Bee
Purebred Tokyo Killer Bee
(2003-2007)
Purebred Omiya
(2001-2002)
Years active 2001–present (MMA)
Kickboxing record
Total 4
Wins 1
By knockout 1
Losses 3
By knockout 2
Mixed martial arts record
Total 25
Wins 18
By knockout 13
By submission 2
By decision 3
Losses 6
By knockout 1
By submission 1
By decision 4
No contests 1
Other information
Notable school(s) Marcos de Niza High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (山本徳郁 Yamamoto Norifumi?, born March 15, 1977) is a Japanese mixed martial artist and kickboxer who formerly competed in the Bantamweight division of the UFC. He quickly gained popularity in the Shooto organization due to his aggressive, well-rounded style and controversial persona. He moved on to K-1 HERO'S, where he became the K-1 HERO's 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion in December, 2005 after defeating Genki Sudo via a controversial TKO due to punches.

Yamamoto comes from a wrestling family. His father Ikuei Yamamoto representing Japan at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich and his sisters Miyu and Seiko both won world championships in freestyle wrestling. Kid received his education in the United States and wrestled at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona, capturing three state championships (with a third place finish as a freshman). During that time he lived and received training from Townsend and Tricia Saunders. He also trained briefly under Choi Mu Bae.[1].

Though by most measures he is a natural Bantamweight, many of Yamamoto's most significant bouts have been in the Lightweight division as it was the lightest division in Hero's. More recently though, Yamamoto has competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the Bantamweight division, although he has not performed very well in the UFC, going winless in his first three fights with the organization.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Shooto[edit]

Yamamoto made his professional mixed martial arts debut on March 2, 2001 against Masato Shiozawa at Shooto - To The Top 2, where he won by unanimous decision. He would go on to win his next two fights, both by TKO in the first round.

During this time Yamamoto faced future Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson in Honolulu, Hawaii at Shogun 1. Yamamoto dominated Thomson with takedowns and strikes but caught an accidental kick to the groin three minutes into round two, causing the bout to be ruled a no contest.

On May 5, 2002, Yamamoto suffered his first loss by TKO to Stephen Palling. As Yamamoto shot in for a double-leg takedown, Palling countered with a knee, opening a huge cut to Yamamoto's face. Though Yamamoto succeeded in slamming Palling, blood began pouring out of the cut and the referee stopped the fight. The doctors determined that Yamamoto was unable to continue and Palling was declared the winner.

Kid went on to win his next three fights over Tetsuo Katsuta, Jeff Curran and Caleb Mitchell.

HERO's[edit]

Yamamoto made his K-1 HERO's debut on April 7, 2004 at the K-1 World MAX 2004 World Tournament Open, where he choked out Tony Valente only 58 seconds into the fight. Over the next year, Yamamoto's popularity grew as he went on to defeat Kazuya Yasuhiro, Jadamba Narantungalag and Ian James Schaffa in exciting fashion.

Yamamoto would then write his name into K-1 Hero's history by defeating three highly regarded fighters—Royler Gracie, Caol Uno and Genki Sudo—to win the 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix.[1]

4-second Knockout[edit]

On May 3, 2006 Yamamoto made mixed martial arts history when he knocked out Kazuyuki Miyata four seconds into the fight with a flying knee moments after the bell sounded. It was the fastest ever knockout in a major MMA promotion.[2] In December 24, 2011, Duane Ludwig tied this record with his win over Jonathan Goulet.

Olympic Freestyle Wrestling[edit]

In early 2007, Yamamoto announced an indefinite leave of absence from MMA to go back to his roots and train for and compete in freestyle wrestling for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He had hoped to win the Olympic Gold medal for freestyle wrestling ever since he was a child, as his father Ikuei Yamamoto represented Japan in the 1972 Olympic games in Munich. In qualifying, Yamamoto began with an impressive win over Japanese Self Defense Forces member Akihiro Tsuchida. Yamamoto looked nimble and explosive against Tsuchida, who had taken third in the 132-pound freestyle class at the 2006 Emperor's Cup. However disaster struck in the semifinals against 2004 Athens Bronze Medalist Kenji Inoue, when in the first move of the match, an arm-whip takedown by Inoue, Yamamoto dislocated his right elbow, and was consequently prone for the easy pinfall. With this injury, Yamamoto had no choice but to leave his hopes of competing in the Olympic Games and return to Mixed Martial Arts.[3]

Return to Hero's[edit]

Yamamoto's return to MMA came on September 17, 2007 against future Dream Featherweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes at K-1 Hero's 10. Yamamoto won the fight by unanimous decision. At K-1 Hero's Dynamite!! 2007 on December 31 Yamamoto faced Abu Dhabi Combat Club Champion and WEC contender Rani Yahya at Bantamweight [2]. Yamamoto won in the second round via TKO due to soccer and ground kicks.

DREAM[edit]

In February 2008, Fighting and Entertainment Group launched Dream, a new MMA promotion intended to be the successor to HERO's. Norifumi Yamamoto was one of the many former Pride and HERO's fighters that was announced to be competing in the new promotion.[3]. He was supposed to make his Dream debut at Dream 5 against Joseph Benavidez, but the bout was abruptly called off three days before the event to a knee injury suffered by Yamamoto.

Yamamoto next announced his participation in the Dream Featherweight Grand Prix, which began at Dream.7. Due to an injury, he did not compete until the second round where, at Dream.9 on May 26, he faced future Bellator Champion Joe Warren. Despite having a significant experience advantage against the newcomer Warren, Yamamoto lost by split decision.[4][5] This was regarded as a huge upset at the time considering Warren (2-0 MMA record at the time) ended Yamamoto's 14-fight winning streak.[6]

Yamamoto lost to SRC Featherweight Champion Masanori Kanehara via unanimous decision at Dynamite!! 2009 on New Year's Eve.

Yamamoto was expected to make his Strikeforce debut against Team Quest fighter Federico Lopez at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery, but was later pulled out by DREAM and fought Lopez at Dream 14 instead.[7] Yamamoto defeated Lopez via TKO (Punches), claiming his first victory after two consecutive upset losses.[8] In preparation for the fight Yamamoto decided to "reinvent" himself, moving to Okinawa to train under former WBA Light Welterweight Champion Akinobu Hiranaka.[9]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Yamamoto made his UFC debut against future UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 126. Unable to fend off Johnson's constant takedowns, he lost the fight via unanimous decision.[10]

He was then expected to face Chris Cariaso on May 28, 2011 at UFC 130.[11] However, Yamamoto was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Michael McDonald.[12] Another bout was schedued against Damacio Page at UFC 135 on September 24, 2011.[13] It too was scrapped on September 1 after both fighters sustained injuries in training.[14]

Yamamoto then fought Darren Uyenoyama on November 12, 2011 at UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.[15] Despite hurting Uyenoyama several times, including a knockdown in the second round, Yamamoto lost via unanimous decision after Uyenoyama controlled him on the ground for the majority of the fight.

Yamamoto's next bout was against Vaughan Lee on February 26, 2012 at UFC 144.[16] Yamamoto rocked Lee early in the opening round with a right hand, but minutes later was wobbled by a right hook-uppercut combination from the Brit. He immediately took Lee down, but got caught in a triangle choke; Lee then switched to an armbar, handing Yamamoto his first ever loss by submission.

Yamamoto was expected to face Ivan Menjivar on September 21, 2013 at UFC 165.[17] However, Yamamoto was removed from the bout and was replaced by Wilson Reis.[18]

Kickboxing career[edit]

Yamamoto faced Masato at K-1 Premium 2004 Dynamite!! in a highly anticipated match up under K-1 Rules, and lost via decision. Yamamoto then faced Mike Zambidis at the K-1 World Max 2005 Tournament, he would also lose this bout by KO early into the third round. On July 13, 2009, Yamamoto was defeated by Korean kickboxer Jae Hee Cheon via KO at K-1 World MAX 2009 World Championship Tournament Final 8. He is now 1-3 under K-1 Rules.

Personal life[edit]

Yamamoto was married to Japanese female fashion model MALIA (マリア,新保真里有), with whom he had two sons and a daughter. They divorced in 2009.[5]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • MMAFighting
    • 2005 Featherweight Fighter of the Year[19]
  • Shooto
    • All Japan Amateur Shooto Tournament Winner

Amateur wrestling[edit]

  • Japan Wrestling Federation
    • All-Japan Emperor's Cup Senior Freestyle National Championship 4th Place (2007)
    • All-Japan Emperor's Cup Senior Freestyle National Championship Runner-up (1999)
  • Arizona Interscholastic Association
    • AIA High School State Championship (1995, 1996, 1997)
    • AIA High School State Championship 3rd Place (1994)
    • Scholastic Career Record: 112-4 (1993-1997)

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–6 (1) Vaughan Lee Submission (armbar) UFC 144 February 26, 2012 1 4:29 Saitama, Japan
Loss 18–5 (1) Darren Uyenoyama Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos November 12, 2011 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Loss 18–4 (1) Demetrious Johnson Decision (unanimous) UFC 126 February 5, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 18–3 (1) Federico Lopez KO (punches) Dream 14 May 29, 2010 1 1:41 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Return to Bantamweight
Loss 17–3 (1) Masanori Kanehara Decision (unanimous) Dynamite!! 2009 December 31, 2009 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 17–2 (1) Joe Warren Decision (split) Dream 9 May 26, 2009 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan Dream Featherweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal, Moves to Featherweight
Win 17–1 (1) Rani Yahya TKO (punches and soccer kicks) K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! December 31, 2007 2 3:11 Osaka, Japan
Win 16–1 (1) Bibiano Fernandes Decision (unanimous) Hero's 10 September 17, 2007 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan Drops to Bantamweight
Win 15–1 (1) István Majoros TKO (punches) K-1 PREMIUM 2006 Dynamite!! December 31, 2006 1 3:46 Osaka, Japan
Win 14–1 (1) Kazuyuki Miyata KO (flying knee) Hero's 5 May 3, 2006 1 0:02 Tokyo, Japan Fastest knockout in K-1 Hero's history
Win 13–1 (1) Genki Sudo TKO (punches) Hero's 4 December 31, 2005 1 4:39 Osaka, Japan Hero's 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix final
Win 12–1 (1) Caol Uno TKO (cut) Hero's 3 September 7, 2005 2 4:04 Tokyo, Japan Hero's 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix semifinal
Win 11–1 (1) Royler Gracie KO (punch) Hero's 3 September 7, 2005 2 0:38 Tokyo, Japan Hero's 2005 Lightweight Grand Prix quarterfinal
Win 10–1 (1) Ian James Schaffa TKO (punches) Hero's 2 July 6, 2005 3 1:23 Tokyo, Japan
Win 9–1 (1) Jadamba Narantungalag KO (punches) K-1 World MAX 2004 Champions' Challenge October 13, 2004 1 1:55 Tokyo, Japan
Win 8–1 (1) Kazuya Yasuhiro Submission (armbar) K-1 World MAX 2004 World Tournament Final July 7, 2004 2 2:40 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–1 (1) Tony Valente Submission (rear naked choke) K-1 World MAX 2004 World Tournament Open April 7, 2004 1 0:58 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–1 (1) Caleb Mitchell KO (punch) Shooto September 5, 2003 1 0:40 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–1 (1) Jeff Curran Decision (unanimous) SuperBrawl 29 May 9, 2003 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 4–1 (1) Tetsuo Katsuta TKO (punches) Shooto: Treasure Hunt 10 September 16, 2002 1 2:45 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 3–1 (1) Stephen Palling TKO (cut) Shooto: Treasure Hunt 6 May 5, 2002 1 0:30 Tokyo, Japan
NC 3–0 (1) Josh Thomson No Contest (kick to groin) Shogun 1 December 15, 2001 2 2:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 3–0 Hideki Kadowaki TKO (punches) Shooto - To The Top 8 September 2, 2001 1 4:02 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2–0 Masashi Kameda KO (punch) Shooto - To The Top 6 July 6, 2001 1 4:17 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Masato Shiozawa Decision (unanimous) Shooto - To The Top 2 March 2, 2001 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan

Kickboxing record[edit]

Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time Location
July 13, 2009 Loss South Korea Jae hee Cheon K-1 World MAX 2009 World Championship Tournament Final 8 KO (Left Hook) 1 1:20 Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
May 4, 2005 Loss Greece Mike Zambidis K-1 World Max 2005 Opening KO (Right Hook) 3 2:09 Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan
December 31, 2004 Loss Masato K-1 Premium Dynamite 2004 Decision (Majority) 3 5:00 Kyocera Dome, Tokyo, Japan
February 24, 2004 Win Takehiro Murahama K-1 World MAX 2004 Japan Tournament TKO (Referee Stoppage) 2 2:38 Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fighters Profile
  2. ^ Norifumi"KID"Yamamoto 山本 徳郁 VS Kazuyuki Miyata 宮田 和幸 on YouTube
  3. ^ Jordan Breen. ""KID" Yamamoto Injured in Olympic Wrestling Bid". Sherdog. 
  4. ^ Manojlovic, Stefan (2009-01-25). "DREAM 7 to feature Featherweight Grand Prix; Yamamoto offered first round bye". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.mmafighting.com/2010/05/28/kid-yamamoto-no-longer-fighting-just-on-intuition/
  6. ^ "WARREN UPSETS 'KID' AT DREAM 9". 
  7. ^ ""Kid" Yamamoto off Strikeforce St. Louis card, may fight at DREAM.14". mmajunkie.com. 2010-04-29. 
  8. ^ "'Kid' Yamamoto finally regains his KO mojo at Dream 14 against Lopez". USA Today. 2010-05-29. 
  9. ^ ""Kid" Yamamoto return". Yahoo. 2010-05-04. 
  10. ^ "Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto Signs With UFC; Debuts Against Demetrious Johnson In February". mmaweekly.com. 2010-12-10. 
  11. ^ "UFC 130: Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto vs Chris Cariaso booked for May 28". mmamania.com. 2011-03-12. 
  12. ^ "McDonald replaces injured "Kid" Yamamoto, meets Cariaso at UFC 130". mmajunkie.com. 2011-04-28. 
  13. ^ "Bantamweights "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Damacio Page targeted for UFC 135". mmajunkie.com. June 13, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Damacio Page scratched from UFC 135 prelims". mmajunkie.com. September 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Yamamoto vs. Uyenoyama official for UFC on FOX 1". September 6, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Vaughan Lee Scores Bout With Yamamoto In Japan". yourmma.tv.com. November 28, 2011. 
  17. ^ Staff (June 20, 2013). "Ivan Menjivar vs. Norifumi Yamamoto targeted for UFC 165 in Toronto". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ Cameron Gidari (2013-09-02). "Wilson Reis Replaces “Kid” Yamamoto, Faces Ivan Menjivar at UFC 165". MMAdiehards.com. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  19. ^ http://www.mmafighting.com/2007/01/01/mmafightingcom-2006-year-end-awards

External links[edit]