Japanese MMA Legend Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto Dead at Age 41 After Battle with Cancer

Former UFC, Shooto and Dream competitor Norifumi Yamamoto has died at age 41.

The Japanese star's longtime team, Krazy Bee released a statement confirming the fighter's passing and requesting that the privacy of Yamamoto's family be respected.

[Kid Yamamoto], who had been fighting cancer for a long time, has passed away on [Sept. 18],” the statement read. “To everyone concerned for support, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of the fans.

“In addition, please refrain from interviewing the Yamamoto family, family members, friends, etc, so that we can give consideration.”

RIP…. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto pic.twitter.com/K8OJblm0ip – Dana White (@danawhite) September 18, 2018

Last month, Yamamoto revealed on Instagram that he was battling cancer but did not offer further detail.

“Although it will be a personal report, I will do my best to treat cancer,” Yamamoto wrote then. “I am absolutely energetic and I strongly want to return, so please give me a warm support!”

“Kid” Yamamoto was regarded as one of MMA's first lighter weight stars. He began to emerge following a victory in the K-1 HERO's lightweight grand prix in 2005, defeating Genki Sudo via first-round TKO in the final. The Tokyo native was unbe…

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