|Weight Class||Lightweight (155 lbs.) / Featherweight (145 lbs.) / Bantamweight (135 lbs.)|
|Height||5' 4" (163cm)|
|Style||Wrestling, Muay Thai|
|Birth Date||March 15, 1977|
|Fighting Out Of||Tokyo, Japan|
|Norifumi Yamamoto Pictures||Official Website|
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto is a Japanese mixed martial artist. He is associated with Purebred Tokyo and Krazy Bee. 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 won their tournament in December, 2005 after defeating Genki Sudo via a controversial TKO due to punches.
Kid comes from a Wrestling family with his father Ikuei Yamamoto representing Japan at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich and his sisters Miyu and Seiko both winning 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). He also trained briefly under Choi Mu Bae.
Yamamoto's natural weight is 143 pounds. Though most mixed martial artists his size compete in the bantamweight division (135lbs), many of his most significant fights have been in the lightweight division (155lbs) as it was the lightest division in HERO's.
Now competing in DREAM, Yamamoto will be fighting in the Japanese featherweight division (139lbs) as it is closer to his natural weight.
|Record||18 - 6 - 0 (Win – Loss – Draw) (1 NC)|
|Loss||Vaughan Lee||Submission (Armbar)||UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson||2/25/2012||1||4:29|
|Loss||Darren Uyenoyama||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos||11/12/2011||3||5:00|
|Loss||Demetrious Johnson||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort||2/05/2011||3||5:00|
|Win||Federico Lopez||KO (Punches)||DREAM 14||5/29/2010||1||1:41|
|Loss||Masanori Kanehara||Decision (Unanimous)||FieLDS Dynamite!! 2009||12/31/2009||3||5:00||At the time of the bout, Kanehara was Sengoku's Featherweight Champion|
|Loss||Joe Warren||Decision (Split)||DREAM 9: Feather Weight Grand Prix 2009 Second Round||5/26/2009||2||5:00||Second Round of DREAM's Featherweight Grand Prix; was given a bye for the First Round|
|Win||Rani Yahya||TKO (Punches and Soccer Kicks)||K-1: Premium 2007 Dynamite!!||12/31/2007||2||N/A|
|Win||Bibiano Fernandes||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 HERO's: Tournament Final||9/17/2007||3||5:00|
|Win||Istvan Majoros||TKO (Punches)||K-1: Premium 2006 Dynamite!!||12/31/2006||1||3:46|
|Win||Kazuyuki Miyata||KO (Flying Knee)||K-1: Hero's 5||5/03/2006||1||0:04||Fastest knockout in K-1 HERO's history|
|Win||Genki Sudo||TKO (Punches)||K-1: Premium 2005 Dynamite!!||12/31/2005||1||4:39||Won K-1 HERO'S 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix|
|Win||Caol Uno||TKO (Cut)||K-1: Hero's 3||9/07/2005||2||4:04||K-1 HERO'S 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals|
|Win||Royler Gracie||KO (Punch)||K-1: Hero's 3||9/07/2005||2||0:38||K-1 HERO'S 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals|
|Win||Ian James Schaffa||TKO (Punches)||K-1: Hero's 2||7/06/2005||3||1:23|
|Win||Jadamba Narantungalag||KO (Punches)||K-1: World Max 2004||10/13/2004||1||1:55|
|Win||Kazuya Yasuhiro||Submission (Armbar)||K-1 MAX: World Grand Prix 2004 Final||7/07/2004||2||2:40|
|Win||Tony Valente||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||K-1 MAX: World Grand Prix 2004 Opening Round||4/07/2004||1||0:58|
|Win||Caleb Mitchell||KO (Punch)||Shooto: 9/5 in Korakuen Hall||9/05/2003||1||0:40|
|Win||Jeff Curran||Decision (Unanimous)||SB 29: SuperBrawl 29||5/09/2003||3||5:00|
|Win||Tetsuo Katsuta||TKO (Punches)||Shooto: Treasure Hunt 10||9/16/2002||1||2:45|
|Loss||Stephen Palling||TKO (Cut)||Shooto: Treasure Hunt 6||5/05/2002||1||0:30|
|NC||Josh Thomson||No Contest (Yamamoto Kicked in Groin)||Shogun 1||12/15/2001||2||2:00|
|Win||Hideki Kadowaki||TKO (Punches)||Shooto: To the Top 8||9/02/2001||1||4:02|
|Win||Masashi Kameda||KO (Punch)||Shooto: To the Top 6||7/06/2001||1||4:17|
|Win||Masato Shiozawa||Decision (Unanimous)||Shooto: To the Top 2||3/02/2001||2||5:00|
Mixed Martial Arts Career
Kid made his professional Mixed Martial Arts debut on March 02, 2001 against Masato Shiozawa at Shooto: To The Top 2, where he won this fight by unanimous decision. Kid would go on to win his next two fights both by TKO in the first round.
On May 5, 2002, Kid suffered his first and only loss to date by TKO to Stephen Palling. Kid received a cut as he went for a double-leg takedown. Kid shot in and Palling countered with a knee, opening a huge cut to Kid's face. Kid then slammed Palling. However, blood began pouring out of Yamamoto's cut and the referee stopped the fight. The doctors determined that Kid was unable to continue and Stephen Palling was declared the winner.
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto made his K-1 HERO's debut on April 7, 2004 at the K-1 MAX: World Grand Prix 2004 Opening Round where he made the Lightweight division take notice by choking out Tony Valente only 58 seconds into the fight. Kid wouldn't stop impressing there, as he would go on to defeat Kazuya Yasuhiro, Jadamba Narantungalag and Ian James Schaffa by TKO or Submission within the next twelve months.
Yamamoto faced Masato at K-1 Premium 2004 Dynamite!!, and lost via Decision. Kid 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.
Merely one year after his HERO's debut, Kid would etch his name into HERO's history where he defeated (and finished) three very highly regarded fighters in Royler Gracie, Caol Uno and Genki Sudo to win the 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix.
On May 3, 2006 Kid made Mixed Martial Arts history when he knocked out Kazyuki Miyata four seconds into the fight, making it the shortest fight in HERO's and one of the fastest knockouts in MMA-history. He went on to win his next fight against Istvan Majoros by TKO half way through round 1.
Olympic Freestyle Wrestling
In early 2007, Kid announced an indefinite leave of absence from MMA to train for and compete in freestyle wrestling for the 2008 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. However his hopes of following in his fathers footsteps stopped short, after an injury prevented Yamamoto from competing in the Japanese Olympic wrestling qualifiers. With this injury, Kid would have no choice but to leave his hopes of competing in the Olympic Games and return to Mixed Martial Arts.
Return to K-1 HERO's
Kid would return to Mixed Martial Arts on September 17, 2007 against Bibiano Fernandes at K-1 Hero's 11. Kid went on to win this fight by unanimous decision, his first in HERO's.
His most recent fight was at K-1 HERO's Dynamite!! 2007 on December 31 against BJJ expert and Abu Dhabi Combat Club champion Rani Yahya at a weight of 135lbs. Yamamoto won in the second round via KO due to kicks on the ground.
In February 2008, it was announced by Fighting and Entertainment Group, the parent entity behind kickboxing organization K-1 and mixed martial arts organization HERO's, that they would be producing a new MMA promotion titled DREAM alongside former PRIDE executives from Dream Stage Entertainment that will succeed and will replace FEG's previous-run mixed martial arts fight series, HERO'S. Norifumi Yamamoto was one of the many former PRIDE and HERO's fighters that were named to compete in this new promotion.
It had since been announced that Kid will be making his DREAM debut on July 21 against undefeated Californian Joseph Benavidez in a Featherweight bout, however the bout was abruptly called off a mere three days prior to its scheduled date due to a knee injury suffered by Kid. Yamamoto could be facing up to six months on the shelf. He claimed that while sparring on Thursday, he attempted a flying knee, landed awkwardly on his right leg and heard his knee pop. After icing his knee throughout the night, Yamamoto went to the hospital the next morning for X-rays and an MRI. The 31-year-old firebrand was later diagnosed with a partial tear of his right anterior cruciate ligament. Yamamoto said that follow-up would be necessary to determine whether he needs surgery, but that he ardently hopes to not have to go under the knife.
Yamamoto announced his participation in the Dream Featherweight Grandprix which begun at DREAM.7, and due to an injury will be seeded into the second round of the Feather Weight Grand Prix at DREAM.9, facing 1-0 American, Joe Warren, in his return. Warren used his exceptional wrestling skills to take down "Kid" and control him on the ground. Warren defeated Yamamoto via split decision, which is considered a major upset. Many blame Yamamoto's loss on bad judging and ring rust since Yamamoto had not competed in a while.
He went to fight for K-1 in a kickboxing bout, losing by KO (see section below for more details).
Kid was next scheduled to face Sengoku Featherweight Champion Masanori Kanehara on December 31, 2009 at FieLDS Dynamite!! 2009. Although Yamamoto lost his last bout in MMA, as well as in K-1, Kanehara was considered the undeniable underdog. After surviving an early striking rush from Yamamoto, Kanehara surprisingly showed the better wrestling and took top position in rounds one and two. Unable to work from his back, Yamamoto was forced to hope for a better performance in the third. Unleashing powerful strikes in the final frame, Yamamoto mostly missed while looking for a fight-ending shot. Once he did connect, Kanehara answered immediately back. Yamamoto threw his hands in the air to call for more as time expired, but it was too little, too late, as Kanehara was awarded the Decision (Unanimous), handing Yamamoto his second straight loss.
Yamamoto returned to action at DREAM 14, much in need of a win, against Team Quest's Federico Lopez. After an early low blow stunned Lopez, Yamamoto attacked on the restart and a combination sent Lopez crashing to the canvas. Yamamoto pounced with a series of hammerfists that ended Lopez's night in just 1:41, winning by KO (Punches).
On July 13, 2009, under kickboxing rules, Yamamoto was defeated by Jae Hee Cheon via KO at K-1 World MAX 2009 World Championship Tournament Final 8. He is now 1-3 under kickboxing rules.
- Collegiate Results Arizona State championships
- Freshman (date to follow) 103lbs: 3rd place.
- Sophomore 103lbs: 1st place
- Junior 103lbs: 1st place
- Senior 103lbs: 1st place
- Freestyle Results All Japan Freestyle National Championships (Emperor's Cup)
- 1999 128 lbs: 2nd place
- 2007 132 lbs: 4th place
Yamamoto is married and has three children; two boys and one girl.