UFC star Norifumi Yamamoto dead at 41: ‘Kid’ passes away after cancer battle

MMA superstar Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto has died aged 41 after a battle with cancer.

The Japanese former UFC ace announced last month that he had been battling the illness and had been receiving treatment in Guam.

 The Japanese fighter announced in August that he had been battling cancer

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The Japanese fighter announced in August that he had been battling cancer
 The Kid last fought in the octagon in 2015 after an incredible MMA career

Getty – Contributor
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The Kid last fought in the octagon in 2015 after an incredible MMA career

Dana White confirmed the passing for the brawler, who he tried hard to get to switch to UFC in the 2000s.

His father Ikuei was a wrestler, who represented Japan at the Munich Olympics in 1972, his sister Miyu won three wrestling world titles and his other sister Seiko won four.

He initially quit the octagon in 2007 in a bid to represent Japan in wrestling at the Games, but he suffered a dislocated elbow in the qualifying tournament for the Beijing Olympics ten years ago.

Pint-sized Yamamoto was just 5ft 3in tall and weight in at just 10st.

 Yamamoto was a huge celebrity in his home country of Japan and managed to sell out massive arenas for his bouts

Getty – Contributor
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Yamamoto was a huge celebrity in his home country of Japan and managed to sell out massive arenas for his bouts
 Yamamoto last shared a picture of himself in July with the caption 'Wife's grandma's bike'

Instagram/@kid_yamamoto
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Yamamoto last shared a picture of himself in July with the caption 'Wife's grandma's bike'
 Yamamoto with his wife and daughter in March

Instagram/@kid_yamamoto
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Yamamoto with his wife and daughter in March
 Yamamoto posted on his Instagram in August that he had been battling cancer and needed his fans to get behind him

Instagram/@kid_yamamoto
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Yamamoto posted on his Instagram in August that he had been battling cancer and needed his fans to get behind him

A ruptured ACL and recovery meant Yamamoto was never quite the same again.

But White did manage to convince him to convert to UFC in 2011 before he lost to Demetrious Johnson and ended his career in 2015 with a 18-6 record.

Kid was a massive celebrity in his home country and could sell out some of Japan's biggest sporting venues.

Yamamoto played out a kickboxing match against domestic rival Masato in 2004 that attracted 35,000 to the Osaka Dome and had 34million TV viewers.

He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

MMA superstar Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto has died aged 41 after a battle with cancer.