Tom Niinimäki

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Tom Niinimäki
Born (1982-07-25) July 25, 1982 (age 35)
Turku, Finland
Other names Stoneface
Nationality Finnish
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)
Division Featherweight
Reach 69.0 in (175 cm)[1]
Fighting out of Boca Raton, Florida, United States
Team Finnfighters Gym
Blackzilians
Trainer Wrestling: Ari Heikiö
Boxing: Sampo Pänttäjä
Strength training: Vesa Vuori
Rank Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[2]
Years active 2002–2017 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 31
Wins 22
By knockout 7
By submission 8
By decision 7
Losses 8
By knockout 1
By submission 5
By decision 2
Draws 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Tom Niinimäki (born July 25, 1982) is a Finnish professional mixed martial artist who formerly competed in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Niinimäki began training in kickboxing at the age of 15, and mixed martial arts at 19.[3][4] He made his professional MMA debut in October 2002 in his native Finland. He assembled an impressive record of 9-2 in the first two years of competition, with all but one of his wins coming by way of submission or TKO.

Beginning in 2005, Niinimäki hit a rough patch where he lost three fights in a row. After one more win in 2007, he retired from competition,[4] saying that he had "lost his fire" to compete.

After a two and a half year hiatus, Niinimäki returned to the sport in February 2010. Since his return he has been unbeaten and maintained an 11-fight winning streak[5] before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Niinimäki made his promotional debut against Rani Yahya on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale.[6] He won the fight via split decision.

Niinimäki was expected to face Thiago Tavares on May 31, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 41.[7] However, on May 14, Tavares pulled out of the fight due to thigh injury and was replaced by Niklas Bäckström.[8] Niinimäki lost the back-and-forth fight in the first round by submission.

Niinimäki next faced Chas Skelly on August 23, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 49.[9] He lost the fight via submission in the first round.

On November 7, 2014 Niinimäki announced that he had signed a new four-fight contract with UFC.[10]

Niinimäki was expected to face Rony Jason on December 20, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 58.[11] However, Jason pulled out of the bout on December 10 and was replaced by promotional newcomer Renato Moicano.[12] Niinimäki lost the bout via submission in the second round.

On January 27, 2015, MMAFighting.com reported that Niinimäki had been released from his UFC contract along with four other fighters.[13]

Post-UFC career[edit]

In late April 2016, Niinimäki was announced as one of the fighters that had signed on with new European promotion European Fighting Challenge.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Before moving to Boca Raton, Florida, Niinimäki lived his entire life in Turku, Finland and worked as a bouncer in several nightclubs.[15]

Management and sponsors[edit]

In the early 2012, Niinimäki signed a two-year management contract with Authentic Sports Management. After closing the deal, the management rapidly sent Niinimäki to train at Imperial Athletics gym with a mixed martial arts group later known as Blackzilians.[16] In January 2014, Niinimäki moved to Florida to be able to continue training with Blackzilians at Jaco Hybrid Training Center.[15]

In May 2014, online gambling company Unibet announced a sponsor deal with Niinimäki.[17]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Wrestling[edit]

  • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
    • 2011: 1st place - European Championships Grappling No Gi (155 lbs)[4]
    • 2011: 3rd place - European Championships Grappling No Gi (165 lbs)[4]
    • 2010: 3rd place - European Championships Grappling No Gi (155 lbs)[4]
    • 2010: 1st place - European Championships Combat Grappling (155 lbs)[4]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • Cage
    • Featherweight Champion[4]
  • TurkuFight
    • Featherweight Champion

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 22–8–1 Jonathan Brookins Decision (unanimous) Euro FC 1 October 1, 2016 3 5:00 Espoo, Finland
Loss 21–8–1 Renato Moicano Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Dollaway December 20, 2014 2 3:30 Barueri, Brazil
Loss 21–7–1 Chas Skelly Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos August 23, 2014 1 2:35 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 21–6–1 Niklas Bäckström Submission (bulldog choke) UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi May 31, 2014 1 4:15 Berlin, Germany
Win 21–5–1 Rani Yahya Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale November 30, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 20–5–1 Walel Watson Submission (kimura) Cage 23 September 21, 2013 2 2:52 Vantaa, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 19–5–1 Chase Beebe Decision (unanimous) Cage 22 May 11, 2013 3 5:00 Vantaa, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 18–5–1 Vladimir Karasiov Submission (guillotine choke) Cage 20: Northern Storm 2 November 17, 2012 1 1:31 Oulu, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 17–5–1 Brian Pearman Submission (rear-naked choke) TFC 23: Fight for the Troops June 15, 2012 2 3:48 Fort Riley, Kansas, United States
Win 16–5–1 Johnny Frachey KO (punch) Cage 16: 1st Defense October 8, 2011 1 1:09 Espoo, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 15–5–1 Sergej Grecicho Decision (unanimous) Cage 14: All Stars November 20, 2010 3 5:00 Espoo, Finland Won Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 14–5–1 Dave Hill Decision (unanimous) TF 2: Champions are Here October 23, 2010 3 5:00 Turku, Finland Won TurkuFight Featherweight Championship
Win 13–5–1 Ben Boekee Submission (kimura) Cage 13: Spring Break May 8, 2010 1 3:47 Vantaa, Finland
Win 12–5–1 Yunus Evloev Submission (kimura) TF: Resurrection April 3, 2010 1 Turku, Finland
Win 11–5–1 Lautaro Arborelo Submission (rear-naked choke) Cage 12: Champions are Born February 28, 2010 2 1:26 Vantaa, Finland
Win 10–5–1 Bogdan Cristea Decision (unanimous) CW 7: Scotland The Brave August 4, 2007 3 5:00 Glasgow, Scotland
Loss 9–5–1 Tristan Yunker Submission (rear-naked choke) IHC 11: Apocalypse November 18, 2006 1 1:34 Vantaa, Finland
Loss 9–4–1 Hatsu Hioki Technical Submission (armbar) Shooto 2005: 11/6 in Korakuen Hall November 6, 2005 1 3:03 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 9–3–1 Danny Batten Decision (majority) CWFC: Strike Force 2 July 16, 2005 5 5:00 Coventry, England
Draw 9–2–1 Bendy Casimir Draw Shooto Sweden: Second Impact March 14, 2005 2 5:00 Stockholm, Sweden
Win 9–2 Andre Soares Decision (unanimous) Cage Warriors 9: Xtreme Xmas December 18, 2004 3 5:00 Sheffield, England
Win 8–2 Patrick Rahael TKO FF 8: FinnFight 8 November 26, 2004 Turku, Finland
Win 7–2 Vincent Latoel TKO Shooto Finland: Ragnarok October 24, 2004 2 2:25 Tampere, Finland
Win 6–2 Carlos Carrasco Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: Switzerland 2 September 4, 2004 1 Zurich, Switzerland
Win 5–2 Vincent Latoel Submission (triangle Choke) Shooto Finland: Capital Punishment 2 April 5, 2004 2 2:03 Helsinki, Finland
Win 4–2 Ville Honkala TKO FF 7: FinnFight 7 November 1, 2003 1 8:39 Turku, Finland
Win 3–2 Teemu Nurkkala TKO (injury) FF 7: FinnFight 7 November 1, 2003 1 0:15 Turku, Finland
Loss 2–2 Mikael Lahdesmaki Decision (unanimous) Shooto Finland: Capital Punishment September 15, 2003 2 5:00 Helsinki, Finland
Loss 2–1 Per Eklund TKO (punches) FF 6: FinnFight 6 November 30, 2002 1 3:53 Turku, Finland
Win 2–0 Janne Salminen KO (knees) FF 6: FinnFight 6 November 30, 2002 1 0:32 Turku, Finland
Win 1–0 Mikael Lahdesmaki TKO (corner stoppage) Shooto Finland: The First Time October 19, 2002 1 5:00 Turku, Finland

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Henderson vs. Dos Anjos". UFC.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ariel Shnerer (May 29, 2014). "UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi Preview & Predictions". Fight Network. 
  3. ^ http://www.tomniinimaki.com/
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Staff (November 30, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki - Official UFC Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ Guilherme Cruz (October 8, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki signs with the UFC, fights Rani Yahya at TUF 18 Finale". mmafighting.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ MMAjunkie.com Staff (October 8, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Rani Yahya featherweight fight headed to TUF 18 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-04-01). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Thiago Tavares added to UFC Fight Night card in Berlin". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  8. ^ Ryan O'Leary. "Bäckström Versus Niinimäki Booked for UFC Berlin". mmaviking.com. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ Staff (2014-06-12). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly added to UFC Fight Night 49 in Tulsa". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  10. ^ Teemu Tammilehto (2014-11-07). "Niinimäki sai uuden UFC-sopimuksen – "Ei tarkoita mitään"" (in Finnish). yle.fi. 
  11. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-11-04). "UFC Fight Night 58 card complete with addition of Rony Jason vs. Tom Niinimaki". mmafighting.com. 
  12. ^ Staff (2014-12-10). "Rony Jason out, Tom Niinimaki meets Renato Carneiro at UFC Fight Night 58". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-12-10. 
  13. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2015-01-27). "Igor Pokrajac among five fighters released from the UFC". 
  14. ^ Mark Bergmann (April 29, 2016). "New promotion EuroFC features UFC vets Niinimaki, Badurek, launches in October". bloodyelbow.com. 
  15. ^ a b Joona Pylkäs (2014-01-23). "UFC Featherweight Tom Niinimäki Headed for The Sunshine State". mmaviking.com. 
  16. ^ "Tom Niinimäki maistelee amerikanmeininkiä" (in Finnish). 2014-05-08. 
  17. ^ "Unibet tukemaan Tom "Stoneface" Niinimäkeä" (in Finnish). unibet.com. 2014-05-07. 

External links[edit]