Three years ago popular Japanese fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto was considered to be one of the most explosive fighters in MMA and thought of as a potential pound-for-pound great. However, since being slowed by a knee injury keeping him out of the ring for nearly 18 months he has struggled to find the same magic and endured three losses in his last four bouts. Now, unfortunately, it appears the Krazy Bee competitor will be shelved again for an unknown amount of time due to an undisclosed injury.
News of Yamamoto’s situation was announced on the UFC’s website where the company also shed light on his replacement in a bout scheduled to take place next over Memorial Day Weekend at UFC 130.
According to the official statement, 20-year old Michael McDonald is set to step in for Yamamoto against Chris Cariaso at the May 28 event in hopes of improving his record to 12-1. McDonald last fought at UFN 24 a month ago where he took part in a “Fight of the Night” match-up with Edwin Figueroa. The outpointing of Figueroa marked his fifth consecutive instance of having his hands raised, though the first decision of McDonald’s career with eleven finishing performances in the previous victories.
Cariaso is also 1-0 in the UFC after crossing over from WEC. He is 11-2 overall with five successful showings in his last six bouts and the bulk of his wins coming as the result of his grappling ability.
UFC 130 will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and features a number of notable match-ups including a title-fight between lightweight champ Frank Edgar and rival Gray Maynard, as well as former 205-pound champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson taking on always-tough Matt Hamill, ever-improving middleweight Brian Stann against the returning Jorge Santiago, and submission specialist Frank Mir mixing it up with TUF 10 winner Roy Nelson.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC