Published On: Wed, Sep 19th, 2018

Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto; Japanese MMA Legend has died at age of 41

Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto referred to as one of the biggest legends and star of the Japanese MMA world has died at the age of 41 years on Tuesday.

Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto

On 21st August Yamamoto announced to his fans on social media that he is battling with cancer. At the time of his death he was hospitalized in a private hospital of Guam where he was receiving medical treatment.

Yamamoto was only 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed only about 141 pounds. He mostly competed in the lightweight or often in featherweight class against the opponents who often dwarfed him. Following his first retirement from sport he had a career sat of 17-1. His last match at that time was with Rani Yahya which he won in Osaka.

Yamamoto was a rock star like celebrity in Japan at that time with many major brand endorsements. He belonged to a major Japanese wrestling family. Hs father Ikuei participated in the 1972 Munich Olympics to represent Japan. His older sister Miyu won three world wrestling championships wit first being won at age of 17 years old. His other older sister Seiko won four world wrestling championships.

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Unfortunately for family of Ikuei the woman wrestling only became an Olympic sport long after his daughters were in their prime.

Yamamoto was the only male and youngest child of his family. His father sent Yamamoto to Arizona for not only high school studies but also to train under an Olympic Silver medalist in wrestling; Townsend Saunders.

Yamamoto despite winning three State tiles of wrestling in Arizona left the sport at age of 21 years old. His passion was in fighting and he first started training under a Hawaiian Top MMA star residing in Japan; Enson Inoue who also happened to be the husband of her sister Miyu.

After fighting and training for many years; Yamamoto finally became one of the biggest MMA fighters of Japan after e won the Hero’s lightweight championship tournament. He defeated top fights like Royler Gracie, Caol Uni and Genki Sudo with a knockout and emerged victorious at top.

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Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto referred to as one of the biggest legends and star of the Japanese MMA world has died at the age of 41 years on Tuesday.
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