Kid Yamamoto will try to get a victory after three straight UFC losses. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Japanese bantamweight Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will return to the Octagon in February after three years away from the cage.
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials Wednesday announced that Yamamoto will square off against Roman Salazar at UFC 184 “Weidman vs. Belfort.” The pay-per-view event takes place Feb. 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and is topped by a UFC middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort.
Once considered one of MMA’s premiere featherweights, Yamamoto has competed exclusively at 135 pounds since entering the UFC in 2011. The 37-year-old leader of Tokyo’s Krazy Bee gym remains winless after three Octagon appearances, suffering decision losses against Demetrious Johnson and Darren Uyenoyama before being submitted by Vaughan Lee in February 2012. Yamamoto, who has struggled with knee and elbow injuries throughout his career, was scheduled to face Ivan Menjivar in September 2013 but withdrew from the bout for unknown reasons.
Eleven years younger than his veteran opponent, Salazar was submitted by Mitch Gagnon in his Oct. 4 UFC debut, in which Salazar replaced Rob Font on short notice. The Arizona native known as “El Gallito” had won four straight fights before running up against Gagnon and previously held the World Fighting Federation bantamweight title in his home state.