This Month’s MMA Birthdays: ‘Kid’ Yamamoto Turns 40

By Brian Knapp Mar 7, 2017

He was for a brief time one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, a nearly untouchable offensive wunderkind who set the Far East ablaze with his transcendent talents. Norifumi Yamamoto turns 40 on March 15.

Yamamoto was an accomplished amateur wrestler before turning his focus to mixed martial arts in 2001. “Kid” soon surfaced as one of Japan’s top exports, as he started his career 17-1 and recorded wins over Genki Sudo, Caol Uno, Jeff Curran, Jadamba Narantungalag, Bibiano Fernandes and Rani Yahya. Yamamoto not only beat people but embarrassed them. Known for his pathological aggression, blinding speed and crushing power, the Krazy Bee rep registered 12 of his first 17 victories by knockout; his four-second KO on Kazuyuki Miyata at K-1 Hero’s 5 on May 3, 2006 remains one of the quickest finishes in MMA history.

A longtime favorite of hardcore fight fans, Yamamoto won tournaments in Shooto and K-1 Hero’s in his prime. Father Time has not been kind to “Kid” -- he has gone 1-5 with one no-contest across his past seven appearances -- but no one will forget how dynamic he was at his peak.

Others in MMA celebrating a birthday during the month of March:

MARCH 1

Taisuke Okuno, 40
Danielle West, 40
Anthony Njokuani, 37
Dominique Robinson, 35
John Howard, 34
Thanh Vu, 25
Aspen Ladd, 22
Sage Northcutt, 21

MARCH 2

Kito Andrews, 39
Heath Herring, 39
Lorenzo Hood, 28

MARCH 3

Rob Broughton, 34
Augusto Mendes, 34
Renato Velame, 34
Richard White, 30
Rodrigo Goiana de Lima, 26

MARCH 4

Jordan Radev, 41
Abe Wagner, 37
Josh Emmett, 32

MARCH 5

Tim Sylvia, 41
Chris Cope, 34
Ericka Almeida, 28

MARCH 6

Tsuyoshi Kosaka, 47
Anthony Johnson, 33
Brandon Girtz, 32

MARCH 7

Eun-Su Lee, 35
Xavier Foupa-Pokam, 35
Steve Kennedy, 34
Joe Merritt, 33
Valentina Shevchenko, 29
Nikita Krylov, 25

MARCH 8

Marlon Sandro, 40
Viscardi Andrade, 33
Eddie Ng, 31
Seo Hee Ham, 30

MARCH 9

Pat Miletich, 49
Jun Nakamura, 33
Koji Ando, 32

MARCH 10

Sean Pierson, 41
Wilson Gouveia, 39
Vitor Miranda, 38
Jesse Lennox, 35
Anton Zafir, 30
Lipeng Zhang, 27
Clay Collard, 24

MARCH 11

Renzo Gracie, 50
Rodrigo Gracie, 42
Sako Chivitchyan, 33
Livia Renata Souza, 26

MARCH 12

Alexis Vila, 46
Ricky Musgrave, 33
Rad Martinez, 30

MARCH 13

Kazuo Takahashi, 48
George Sullivan, 36
Justin Salas, 35
Nam Phan, 34

MARCH 14

Josh Samman (1988-2016)
Kiyotaka Shimizu, 33
“Judo” Jim Wallhead, 33

MARCH 15

Norifumi Yamamoto, 40
Travis Wiuff, 39
Julianna Lima, 35

MARCH 16

Shawn Tompkins (1974-2011)
Brad Imes, 40
Josh Pulsifer, 34
Vanessa Porto, 33
Antonio Carlos Jr., 27
Aaron Roberson, 27

MARCH 17

Antoine Hayes, 41
Fabio Maldonado, 37
Bae Yong Kwon, 36
Chan Sung Jung, 30
Jose Flores, 29
Jamie Moyle, 28

MARCH 18

Nate Quarry, 45
Kyle Noke, 37
Brendan Schaub, 34

MARCH 19

Shawn Bunch, 34
Ryuichi Miki, 34
Baga Agaev, 32
Jake Norsworthy, 27

MARCH 20

Daniel Cormier, 38
Rogent Lloret, 38
Robbie Lawler, 35
John Moraga, 33
Goran Reljic, 33
Jingliang Li, 29
Aya Saber, 26
Joe Hamilton, 25

MARCH 21

Rony Mariano Bezerra, 33
John Salter, 32
Brice Ritani-Coe, 31

MARCH 22

Andre Pederneiras, 50
Jamal Patterson, 43
Kyle Kingsbury, 35
Joe Soto, 30

MARCH 23

Mark Hunt, 43
Mukai Maromo, 34
Yuri Villefort, 26

MARCH 24

Josh Neer, 34
Andy Main, 28
Mackenzie Dern, 24

MARCH 25

Rory Markham, 35
Besam Yousef, 32
Steven Ray, 27

MARCH 26

Tony Fryklund, 46
Bor Bratovz, 35
Paige VanZant, 23

MARCH 27

Nuri Shakir, 38
Indalecio Tat Romero, 37
Matt Jaggers, 32
Alptekin Ozkilic, 31

MARCH 28

Hector Ramirez, 41
Jake Ellenberger, 31
Joe Ellenberger, 31

MARCH 29

Donald Cerrone, 34
Stephen Eakin, 34
Chase Beebe, 32
Jesse Chaffin, 28
Cristina Stanciu, 23

MARCH 30

Bibiano Fernandes, 37
Bojan Mihajlovic, 37
Melvin Guillard, 34
Rasul Mirzaev, 31
Dan Lauzon, 29

MARCH 31

Naoya Ogawa, 49
Reese Andy, 44
Rich Clementi, 41
James Zikic, 40
Mike Kyle, 37
Marloes Coenen, 36
Ayaka Hamasaki, 35
Fabio Silva, 35
Richardson Moreira, 33
David Parker, 32
Frank Gomez, 31
Terrion Ware, 31

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