Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (right) | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
Fans hoping to watch the UFC debut of Japanese star Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto against World Extreme Cagefighting standout Demetrious Johnson are in luck, as the promotion announced today that the non-televised bantamweight bout from UFC 126 will stream live on its Facebook page.
The stream, which begins at 8:25 p.m. ET/5:25 p.m. PT this Saturday, will also include a live video blog with UFC President Dana White. To access the broadcast, fans must click the “like” button on the UFC’s Facebook page. The promotion utilized the same system to stream four prelims from UFC “Fight for the Troops 2” on Jan. 22 and received more than 60,000 “likes” on the social networking website.
Set to take place Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, the UFC 126 pay-per-view will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Vitor Belfort. Two additional undercard bouts will air live on Spike TV prior to the PPV broadcast.
One of Japan’s best-known mixed martial artists, Yamamoto will compete in the continental United States for the first time on Saturday. Between 2002 and 2007, Kid reeled off 14 consecutive wins, including knockouts against the likes of Rani Yahya, Genki Sudo and Kazuyuki Miyata. After returning from a 16 month layoff due to knee surgery, Yamamoto dropped back-to-back bouts to current Bellator featherweight champ Joe Warren and then-Sengoku ace Masanori Kanehara. Most recently, the Krazy Bee founder returned to form, knocking out Federico Lopez at Dream 14 last May.
After opening his career with a 5-0 run, Johnson was handed his first defeat in his WEC debut, losing a unanimous decision to Brad Pickett last March. The 24-year-old AMC Pankration fighter enters his match with Yamamoto on a two-fight streak, however, having subsequently submitted Damacio Page and decisioned Nick Pace inside the WEC cage. Johnson will also make his UFC debut on Saturday.