My guy loses another chance at getting that UFC win on his resume. who’s this guy, what if I told you this MMA legend was one of the biggest stars of Japanese MMA Promotional superstar of Pride FC, Shooto, K-1 and Dream. He’s an older fighter definitely out of his prime and fought a weight class heavier than he should have but still KO’d legends Gracie’s, American studs, and Japanese superstars. Nope not Sakuraba not Enson. Oh so you don’t know who I’m talking about, how could this be he’s MMA royalty. Arguably the second most important fighter below 155 in the history of the sport. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto of course, the Japanese wrestling stand out with the crazy heavy piston hands explosive footwork and striking mentor to Horiguchi The Japanese Karate Kid. How do people not know Kid, the guy I steal a lot of my fashion and let me face facts my wrestling is based off a lot of the stuff he did back in the day ( cough cough like 2004 lol) The guy KO’d Royler Gracie, beat up Caol Uno, and Genki Sudo. He basically represented the reality for a lot of Eastern native men being shorter lighter but fighting heavier. Keep In mind he’s a natural 135 but fought at 155 against killers. He’s a true Japanese fighter doesn’t look to retreat and takes it to his opponents with speed crisp power unexpected combination and a world class wrestling pedigree. His sisters Miyu and Seiko won the World Championship in freestyle wrestling competition, and his dad wrestled for Japan at the Munich Olympics. The Kid can wrestler and sub people when he decided to but he was in love with those hands and he was a Timebomb standing just a matter of time, peep the Genki fight for clarification.
There’s a lot of good but he was the bad play boy of Japanese MMA for nothing, there is some bad. The controversial side of Kid deals with the guy that gave him his start his former brother in-law Enson Inoue and there following out most attributed to Kids own father pushing him to go for the bigger money deals no matter how unscrupulous the business tactics. Breaching his K-1 contract after just getting it and being emotional ecstatic about being signed to the organization in the first place, but because of his drawing power he was able to pull even more money out of the organization. Sauve business but at what cost, after the Japanese MMA scene took a dive with Pride FC collapsing on itself the other organizations that were alongside it or came after in Japan couldn’t hold water for very long. With that being the case Kid was making money grabs at every promotion not wanting to make the jump across the Pacific where his pay day would be much smaller in comparison to the 2 Mill he is rumored to have made fighting in K-1 and Dream. Finally after Dreams fall off he signed with the UFC who really signed a guy that had already pecked. He fought Demetrious Johnson, Darren Uyenoyama, Vaughn Lee, all three loses and a NC with Roman Salazar. I really thought the ship was going to get right end away this time being in Japan but after Matt Hobar was hurt training and now Kids out as well with an injury the UFC has scrapped the fight. Leaves a bitter taste In mouth and I hate it, I want Kid to get a win fill his contract obligation which I assume was for 4 or 5 fights bounce sign with this new Spike Japanese MMA Promotion to revitalize the sport in Japan and other Markets so that hopefully a cross promotion bout with One FCs Shinya Aoki could be possible since the 2 legends are so close in weight. It’s really heart breaking to see one of my favorite fighters going out like this and missing a chance for his first UFC win in Japan of all places. Like I said bitter taste especially because I know what he’s capable of, stuffing and wrestling Royler peep the link for the fight.
He’s the kind of guy I love talking about technical but so athletic is what I remember about him in his prime so much so that it would get him in trouble and knocked out in K-1 over and over again. Since this was Japan in the hey day as long as you came to fight so to speak you were hailed as a hero and then in MMA he would beat the breaks off everyone and winning a tournament where he knocked out some of the best 155 of all time out proves that even more.
Today’s a day I pay respect to the kid who shaped me some what I love to look so chic and stylish in and outside of training and for a short athletic guy it was hard to figure out how to do until I saw Kid
Even now with his image in mind I am still recognized as cute handsome and adorable all at the same time by people. I go hard in the gym and fight above my weight and height with a mix of Matt Hume approach mind you. He’s what I saw as a representation of me, the guy lived in America on the left coast in Arizona and experienced are culture first hand and mixed it with his own as a kid and later as a teen and was the perfect blend for me to relate to. (I’ll touch more on style and personal reflection and portrayal through equipment and apparel in post coming soon) he really got me thinking of Bushido again and the Japanese mindset of perfection in all things no matter how simple; from ironing, cleaning a table, cooking a meal, to fighting it all was perfect and I expected that for myself and from myself so I would save and by the Prides, Shooto, K-1, and Dreams to see how Kid fought and break the fights down.
He’s as important as any other legends and for Japan he’s right behind Sakuraba in his importance as a fighter beating a Gracie and dominating at a weight 2 sizes too big for him and doing it in spectacular fashion with all guns ablaze.
-OSU Folks and Family I hope you take a look at his early fights I have provided links for.