A lot of the more hardcore MMA fans out there have been holding their breath over the past two weeks, waiting to see what the fuck is up with Kid Yamamoto. One of the greatest lighter weight fighters in Japan, Yamamoto has been kinda fucked by the lack of a real division to fight in. He really should be a flyweight fighter and even as FEG prepares a 145 pound featherweight tournament around him, that’s still two divisions above his optimal fighting weight.
That hasn’t stopped Kid from amassing a 17-1 record, mainly against 155 and 145 pound fighters. Still, recent sightings in Vegas at last week’s WEC event and in Dana’s video blogs have everyone wondering if maybe Kid is sick of the bullshit he has to deal with in Japan:
While FEG and Yamamoto have cited continuing issues with knee injury, a source close to the situation has told Sherdog.com that there are further complications due to many of the promotion’s event sponsors being reluctant to champion Yamamoto’s return, due to the lingering bad press. In July, Japanese tabloid Shukan Gendai linked the 31-year-old Yamamoto to “marijuana parties” in Tokyo, an allegation with considerable gravity given the strict cannabis control laws in Japan.
It is currently being discussed whether or not the superstar “Kid” will be slotted into the tournament’s second round. However, there also exists the issue of the poundage for the tournament. Thus far, Dream’s featherweight bouts have been held at catch weights typically between 138 and 141 pounds. Yamamoto, who was to be the cornerstone of the tournament, was originally given input into the weight structure and suggested a 135 or 137-pound cutoff. However, FEG has yet to officially announce the weight contract for the tournament.
Before all this weed stuff, it would have been hard to imagine Kid turning his back on Japan to come fight in the WEC for a couple hundred drunk people at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. But if Japan has already turned it’s back on Kid, then things start to fall in place for him to make a run in the WEC. Which would be hella sweet indeed.
(Picture by the always wicked Tracy Lee, who details the meeting between Kid Yamamoto and Urijah Faber in her blog)