Former UFC fighter and Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) legend “Kid” Yamamoto has announced he is battling cancer.
Yamamoto announced the news on his Instagram. He wrote the message in his native language of Japanese, however, it has been translated by several outlets.
There are few details available on Yamamoto’s exact diagnosis. All that is known as of this writing is he is battling cancer and apparently promised to return to fighting:
The 41-year-old has been competing in MMA since 2001. Aside from MMA, Yamamoto also competes in kickboxing and grappling.
Yamamoto established himself as one of the top fighters in the world from bantamweight to lightweight. He went undefeated from 2002 to 2009.
He debuted in the UFC back in 2011 but was never able to garner a win under the promotion’s banner. Instead, he suffered three straight losses and a fourth bout that went to a No Contest.
Yamamoto has not fought since his last UFC appearance in February of 2015. Several months later he competed in an exhibition kickboxing fight
Over the span of his career he has been able to pick up impressive wins over the likes of Bibiano Fernandes, Roller Gracie, Genki Sudo, Caol Uno and Jeff Curran. He also once shared the cage with Demetrious Johnson.
Johnson welcomed Yamamoto to the UFC back in 2011, defeating him via unanimous decision.