July 25, 1982 |
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)|
|Reach||69.0 in (175 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Boca Raton, Florida, United States|
|Trainer||Wrestling: Ari Heikiö
Boxing: Sampo Pänttäjä
Strength training: Vesa Vuori
|Rank||Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Years active||2002–2017 (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Mixed martial arts career
Niinimäki began training in kickboxing at the age of 15, and mixed martial arts at 19. 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, 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 before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Niinimäki was expected to face Thiago Tavares on May 31, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 41. However, on May 14, Tavares pulled out of the fight due to thigh injury and was replaced by Niklas Bäckström. Niinimäki lost the back-and-forth fight in the first round by submission.
On November 7, 2014 Niinimäki announced that he had signed a new four-fight contract with UFC.
Niinimäki was expected to face Rony Jason on December 20, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 58. However, Jason pulled out of the bout on December 10 and was replaced by promotional newcomer Renato Moicano. 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.
Management and sponsors
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. In January 2014, Niinimäki moved to Florida to be able to continue training with Blackzilians at Jaco Hybrid Training Center.
Championships and accomplishments
- International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
Mixed martial arts
- Featherweight Champion
- Featherweight Champion
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|31 matches||22 wins||8 losses|
|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|
- "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Henderson vs. Dos Anjos". UFC.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- Ariel Shnerer (May 29, 2014). "UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi Preview & Predictions". Fight Network.
- Staff (November 30, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki - Official UFC Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
- Guilherme Cruz (October 8, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki signs with the UFC, fights Rani Yahya at TUF 18 Finale". mmafighting.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
- MMAjunkie.com Staff (October 8, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Rani Yahya featherweight fight headed to TUF 18 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Guilherme Cruz (2014-04-01). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Thiago Tavares added to UFC Fight Night card in Berlin". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- Ryan O'Leary. "Bäckström Versus Niinimäki Booked for UFC Berlin". mmaviking.com. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
- Staff (2014-06-12). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly added to UFC Fight Night 49 in Tulsa". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
- Teemu Tammilehto (2014-11-07). "Niinimäki sai uuden UFC-sopimuksen – "Ei tarkoita mitään"" (in Finnish). yle.fi.
- Guilherme Cruz (2014-11-04). "UFC Fight Night 58 card complete with addition of Rony Jason vs. Tom Niinimaki". mmafighting.com.
- Staff (2014-12-10). "Rony Jason out, Tom Niinimaki meets Renato Carneiro at UFC Fight Night 58". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
- Guilherme Cruz (2015-01-27). "Igor Pokrajac among five fighters released from the UFC".
- Mark Bergmann (April 29, 2016). "New promotion EuroFC features UFC vets Niinimaki, Badurek, launches in October". bloodyelbow.com.
- Joona Pylkäs (2014-01-23). "UFC Featherweight Tom Niinimäki Headed for The Sunshine State". mmaviking.com.
- "Tom Niinimäki maistelee amerikanmeininkiä" (in Finnish). 2014-05-08.
- "Unibet tukemaan Tom "Stoneface" Niinimäkeä" (in Finnish). unibet.com. 2014-05-07.