Terrible news struck the mixed martial arts community tonight as it was announced that legendary Japanese fighter Kid Yamamoto had lost his battle with cancer.
Norifumi Yamamoto’s gym, Krazybee in Tokyo, broke the tragic news on social media just moments ago.
On August 26, 2018, Yamamoto wrote on his Instagram that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was currently battling the disease.
The Japanese warrior, Yamamoto, is widely considered to be one of the best lightweight fighters in history.
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.
Rest in Peace, Kid Yamamoto pic.twitter.com/UgPEYijtNt
— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) September 18, 2018
At Hero’s 10 in 2007, Kid Yamamoto would earn a unanimous decision victory over current ONE Champion Bibiano Fernandes in his more natural weight class of 135-pounds.
“Kid” would eventually take his world class talents to the UFC octagon in February of 2011, where he suffered a decision loss to pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kid Yamamoto and his family. The mixed martial arts world has lost a true legend. RIP.