Norifumi Yamamoto or “Kid” is a Japanese mixed martial artist and kickboxer. He currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) men’s bantamweight division. Yamamoto is known for his extensive wrestling skills and knockout power.
Born in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan on March 15, 1977, Yamamoto came from a family of wrestlers. His father, Ikuei Yamamoto, represented Japan at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, while his sisters, Miyu and Seiko, both won world championships in freestyle wrestling. Yamamoto, on the other hand, was gaining ground in wrestling even at a young age. While studying at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona, he captured three wrestling state championships.
Though he is a natural Bantamweight, many of Yamamoto’s most significant bouts have been in the Lightweight division. His first professional fight was at the Shooto – To The Top 2 against Masato Shoizawa where he won via unanimous decision. He won two more fights at Shooto in the same year against Masashi Kameda and Hideki Kadowaki, respectively. After a No Contest against Josh Thomson and a loss against Stephen Palling, he managed to display an impressive 14 win streak from Shooto up until he transitioned to K-1 in 2005.
His undefeated run was stopped by Joe Warren in May 2009 at the Dream 9 – Featherweight Grand Prix 2009 Second Round via a split decision.
He entered the UFC at 2011 but never won a fight from 2011 to 2015. His last fight was against Roman Salazar, which was a No Contest due to an accidental eye poke in the second round. He has a record of 26 fights with 18 wins, 6 losses, and 2 no contest.