After more than a year away from mixed martial arts, one of the sports undisputed best little men will make his highly anticipated return to action when Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto faces off with former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Joe Warren.
The pair will butt heads on in the second round of Dream‘s featherweight grand prix May 26 at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.
Fourteen straight wins over the last six years over some of the best competition the sport has to offer has cemented Yamamoto’s place as one of the pound for pound best smaller fighters in the business. Jeff Curran, Royler Gracie, Caol Uno, and Genki Sudo have all felt the wrath of Yamamoto during the course of their respective careers, with the latter three being beaten sideways by the explosive thirty two year old.
In a weight class that it is undisputedly harder to knock your foe out, Yamamoto has established himself as one of the lighter weight classes premier finishers, knocking out twelve of the seventeen men he holds victories over.
As previously noted, Warren is an outstanding wrestler. His background combined with the fact that he managed to stop a fighter as durable and seasoned as Chase Beebe in his professional debut at Dream 7 make Warren one of the top featherweights to watch in the sport.
Daiki Hata has been forced to withdrawal from his tournament bout due to an eye injury and will be replaced with the man he beat in the first round of the tournament, Hideo Tokoro.
A full list of the 139 pound tournament bouts set for May 26th are listed below.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Joe Warren
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Masakazu Imanari
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
Abel Cullum vs. Hideo Tokoro
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou – rumored but yet to be announced
Gesias “JZ” Cavalvante vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri – rumored but yet to be announced
Also rumored to make appearances in the event are Paulo Filho and Ronaldo Jacare.