On the heels of a recent announcement relating to Michihiro Omigawa bringing his skills into the Octagon, the UFC has inked another Japanese featherweight to a deal with plans for a promotional debut in early 2011.
According to Dana White via Twitter, the UFC has finalized a deal with 145-pound superstar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. Yamamoto has dropped two of his last three bouts since returning from a year-and-a-half absence but was 17-1 prior to a break from action occurring between late 2007 to mid 2009.
According to a report from MMAJunkie, it appears Yamamoto may debut as early as February at UFC 126 against 7-1 WEC veteran Demetrious Johnson. Neither fighter has been legitimately finished so it appears more will be on the line come February 5 than a W/L record.
Yamamoto is 18-3 in his career with thirteen wins by way of TKO. He holds notable victories in the past over the likes of Genki Sudo, Bibiano Fernandes, Jeff Curran, and Royler Gracie.
If “Kid” joins the UFC 126 line-up he will compete alongside a number of former UFC champions as well as a current title-holder. The event, scheduled for Super Bowl Weekend, is currently slated to feature middleweight champ Anderson Silva defending his belt against Vitor Belfort, as well as a bout between Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin in addition to a match-up between rising 205-pound stars Jon Jones and Ryan Bader.