The tragic news comes just weeks after Yamamoto announced he was battling cancer.
During the opening decade of this century, Yamamoto became one of the best, and most feared fighters in MMA. From 2001 through 2008, the decorated wrestler went 18-1, with 1 no contest. During that time the powerful, 5’4 tall fighter defeated stars like Royler Gracie, Genki Sudo, Caol Uno, and Bibiano Fernandes.
Yamamoto (18-6, 2 NC) also fought kickboxing superstar, Masato, under kickboxing rules in 2004. Yamamoto lost the fight via decision, but drew widespread praise for knocking the legend down. The fight drew 34 million viewers in Japan.