In a move clearly designed to bolster the depth and excitement of its’ newly introduced Bantamweight division, the Ultimate Fighting Championships has confirmed the signing of exciting Japanese fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto to its rank of fighters. The move, confirmed by UFC president Dana White on Twitter as of Friday night, brings to the UFC one of the most enigmatic fighters ever to grace mixed martial arts.
Originally an Enson Inoue disciple, the Purebred Tokyo fighter amassed popularity with hardcore MMA fans since early 2001 while competing in the Japanese Shooto organization. Yamamoto quickly caught on as an aggressive, well -rounded fighter with dynamite in both hands and a penchant for completely obliterating his opponents, oftentimes even after the final bell. In his career, In addition to Shooto, Yamamoto has went to compete in K-1, Dream, and Hero’s organizations and has even made a bid to compete for Japan in Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, bowing out due to an injury sustained during a match with 2004 Athens Bronze Medalist Kenji Inoue in Japan’s prestigious Emperor’s cup. Kid’s notable MMA wins include victories over Bibiano Fernandes, Genki Sudo, Caol Uno, Jeff Curran, and Rolyer Gracie.
According to MMAWeekly.com, verbal agreements are in place for Yamamoto to take on Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson at UFC 126, set for February in Les Vegas. Johnson has amassed an impressive record at the WEC, with wins over Damacio Page and Nick Pace to his credit. This featured fight should provide a stiff test and a benchmark for how “Kid” can do at this stage of his career under the bright lights of the UFC.
Here’s a highlight of Kid in action.