Former UFC Star, Japanese MMA Fighter Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto, Dies at 41

Former UFC Star and Japanese MMA fighter Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto has reportedly passed away at the age of 41.

According to ESPN, Yamamoto had announced in August that he was battling cancer so it's been speculated that is likely the cause of death, though an official report may still be forthcoming.

The outlet also noted that it was Yamamoto's Tokyo gym Krazybee that first announced his passing. Shortly thereafter, UFC boss Dana White shared the sad news as well.

A number of fellow fighters and fans have also taken to social media to share their sympathy and sorrow at Yamamoto's passing, with UFC fighter Erik Jon Koch saying that he "grew up watching this guy," and added, "Thanks for all the entertainment always fun to watch."

"Earlier in the year, I went to Japan for the first time and was really trying to see if I could get a chance train with Kid Yamamoto. Schedules didn't line up, but it's still sad and shocking to go from trying to train with a legend, to hearing and writing about his passing today," MMA writer Anton Tabuena tweeted.

"Just heard about Kid Yamamoto. Tragic loss," stand-up comedian and writer Johnny Taylor Jr. wrote. "He was a pioneer of the lighter weight classes and an unbelievable fighter that went largely unseen by American fans when he was in his prime. Rest easy."

SiriusXM radio host Luke Thomas added that "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," he added.

At this time, no funeral or memorial arrangements for Yamamoto have been announced.