UFC 126 Fight Card Primer: Norifumi 'KID' Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson

Norifumi "KID" YamamotoYamamoto_johnson_medium (18-3, 1 NC, 0-0 UFC) fights for the first time in the continental United States as he meets WEC veteran Demetrious Johnson (8-1, 0-0 UFC). The bantamweight bout will stream live on Facebook prior to the Spike TV telecast.

How do these guys stack up?

Yamamoto: 33 years old, 5'4", reach unlisted
Johnson: 24 years old, 5'3", reach unlisted

What have they done lately?

Yamamoto: W - Lopez (KO), L - Kanehara (UD), L - Warren (SD)
Johnson: W - Page (SUB), W - Pace (UD), L - Pickett (UD)

How did these guys get here?

Yamamoto's struggled to regain the form that had many considering him one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world in 2007. A knee injury and a media controversy over marijuana use led him to miss the entirety of 2008. He returned to face then 1-0 Joe Warren in the second round of Dream's featherweight tournament. He dropped a close split decision to Warren, and then lost an uninspired decision to Masanori Kanehara at Dynamite!! 2009. The losses forced Yamamoto to drop down to bantamweight, where he made short work of Federico Lopez at Dream 14.

Johnson made his MMA debut in 2007, and compiled a 6-0 record before making his WEC debut in April of 2010. Johnson lost his debut fight against Brad Pickett, but bounced back with a decision victory over Nick Pace at WEC 51. In November, he submitted Damacio Page by guillotine choke at WEC 52. Johnson is currently ranked as the number thirteen bantamweight in the MMA Consensus Rankings.

Why should you care?

Because it's "KID" Yamamoto fighting in the UFC. I recommend that you check out this highlight video if you are unfamiliar with his work. I don't want to undersell Johnson here, either. He's an exciting fighter in his own right, but long time fans have coveted Yamamoto fighting in the UFC Octagon for a long time now.


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