The mixed martial arts world took a major blow to the heart this evening when it was announced that legendary Japanese fighter Kid Yamamoto had passed away at the age of 41.
Back on August 26, 2018, “Kid” announced on social media that he was battling cancer.
Sadly this evening, Norifumi Yamamoto’s gym – Krazybee in Tokyo, announced on social media that the mixed martial arts legend had passed away from the disease.
Norifumi Yamamoto is widely considered to be one of the greatest lightweight fighters in the history of mixed martial arts.
Although he was naturally a bantamweight, most of Kid Yamamoto‘s significant bouts took place at lightweight.
Norifumi defeated opponents Royler Gracie, Caol Uno and finally Genki Sudo, all via stoppage, on route to winning the 2005 Hero’s Lightweight Grand Prix.
The following year (2006) at May’s Hero’s 5 event in Tokyo, Kid Yamamoto scored the fastest knockout in mixed martial arts history when he smashed Kazuyuki Miyata with a flying knee just four seconds after the bell sounded to start the fight.
Here is how the MMA Community reacted to the tragic passing of MMA legend Kid Yamamoto.
Norifumi Yamamoto was a pillar of not merely Japanese MMA or the kakutogi boom, but for a moment in time, the elite of MMA itself. Athletic swagger oozing from every pore. Highlight reel machine. Aggressive and efficient.
He is impossible to understand by his UFC run alone.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) September 18, 2018
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) September 18, 2018
RIP…. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto 😞 pic.twitter.com/K8OJblm0ip
— Dana White (@danawhite) September 18, 2018
A true legend of the sport. Heartbreaking. RIP Kid Yamamoto. pic.twitter.com/9u9Udq7Tn0
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) September 18, 2018
Kid Yamamoto has passed away at 41 years old. An absolute legend, a pioneer for the sport, and one of the greatest fighters in mixed martial arts during the mid-2000’s. My heart is… https://t.co/ARTPJJDcoh
— Wesley Riddle (@AllThatMMA) September 18, 2018
RIP Kid Yamamoto
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) September 18, 2018
— Chris Taylor (@CTaylor_96) September 18, 2018
Man. Rest In Peace, Kid. A real life MMA super hero, who at one time was considered one of the P4P greats, gone way too soon. https://t.co/bsr7tnYlXd
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 18, 2018
😔 Damn. An absolute legend and trailblazer. Terribly sad. Rest easy, Kid Yamamoto https://t.co/EtD5Sj7MAa
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) September 18, 2018
Kid Yamamoto was one of those legendary fighters you’d scramble to watch compete no matter what hour of the day or night he was competing. It’s a sad day as a great is gone far, far too soon. https://t.co/b8J3GyyUXx
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) September 18, 2018