Puroresu System Wiki
Puroresu System Wiki


Kenichi Yamamoto (山本 喧一, Yamamoto Ken'ichi) is a Japanese mixed martial artist and professional wrestler. Known for his career in UWF International, Yamamoto competed against some of the best fighters in his era with RINGS, Pride and the UFC, taking on Kevin Randleman, Genki Sudo and Pat Miletich, among others.

He returned to the ring against former Pancrase Light Heavyweight titlist Keiichiro Yamamiya on Oct. 27, 2012. He lost via unanimous decision.


A fan of Akira Maeda, Yamamoto started to train in karate since his chilhood, entering the Seidokaikan school before turning his attention to professional wrestling. In 1993, he was accepted in Union of Wrestling Forces International and debuted on October 14 in a match against Kazushi Sakuraba. After two years on the mid card, he joined Yoji Anjo and Yoshihiro Takayama to form the Golden Cups stable, in which he gained fame. In 1996, UWF International closed and Yamamoto moved to Kingdom, before eventually joining Fighting Network Rings in 1998. While in Rings, he had to skipe several months of action due to a surgery to remove a benign tumor, and ended leaving the company in 1999.

In November 1999 Yamamoto had his Ultimate Fighting Championship at the UFC 23 event, taking part on the night's tournament. His first opponent was Wajutsu Keishukai representative Daiju Takase. The fight was slow, with Yamamoto being the superior striker and Takase constantly pulling guard to stop the action, so Kenichi resorted to headbutts to the midsecion to damage him and even performed a cartwheel guard pass inspired on his training partner Sakuraba. Takase tried some high kicks and a triangle choke, but Yamamoto blocked them and landed punches and elbow strikes to the body, winning the decision. The final fight was against Katsuhisa Fujii, which proved to be a tougher bout. Fujii took Yamamoto down several times and attacked with ground and pound, consistently endangering the former Rings wrestler. At the end, however, Kenichi surprised Fujii with a kneebar from the guard and made him tap, winning the fight and the tournament.

In wrestling[]

  • Finishing moves
    • Cross armbar
    • Capture suplex
  • Signature moves
    • Kneebar
    • Rear naked choke
    • Roundhouse kick

Championships and accomplishments[]

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • UFC 23 Middleweight Tournament Champion
  • Wrestle Association "R"

Mixed martial arts record[]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 5–12–2 Kazuo Takahashi KO (knee) U-Spirits - U-Spirits Again March 9, 2013 1 6:29 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5–11–2 Keiichiro Yamamiya Decision (unanimous) Grabaka Live 2 October 27, 2012 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5–10–2 Sanae Kikuta TKO (punches) Grabaka Live: 1st Cage Attack October 15, 2011 1 2:18 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5–9–2 Diego Lionel Vitosky TKO (corner stoppage) MARS: Bodog Fight October 4, 2006 2 n/a Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5–8–2 Kaream Ellington TKO (punches) Mix FC: USA vs. Russia 3 June 3, 2006 1 4:51 Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 5–7–2 German Reyes KO (high kick) Ryukyu Fight Night 2 November 13, 2005 2 2:20 Okinawa, Japan
Loss 4–7–2 Ikuhisa Minowa TKO (punches) Pride Bushido 4 July 19, 2004 1 3:23 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 4–6–2 Alexander Otsuka Decision (unanimous) Pride 25 March 16, 2003 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 4–5–2 Kevin Randleman TKO (knees) Pride 23 November 24, 2002 3 1:16 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 4–4–2 Genki Sudo Submission (rear-naked choke) Rings: World Title Series 5 December 21, 2001 2 1:46 Yokohama, Japan
Draw 4–3–2 Akira Yasumura Draw Club Fight Nagoya March 4, 2001 1 10:00 Nagoya, Japan
Draw 4–3–1 Kenji Akiyama Draw Club Fight Osaka January 27, 2001 1 10:00 Osaka, Japan
Loss 4–3 Pat Miletich Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 29 December 16, 2000 2 1:58 Tokyo, Japan For UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 4–2 Tatsuya Kurahashi KO (punches) Club Fight: Round 1 November 12, 2000 1 8:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 3–2 Katsuhisa Fujii Submission (kneebar) UFC 23 November 19, 1999 1 4:15 Urayasu, Japan Won UFC Japan Middleweight Tournament
Win 2–2 Daiju Takase Decision (unanimous) UFC 23 November 19, 1999 3 5:00 Urayasu, Japan
Loss 1–2 Kiyoshi Tamura TKO Rings: World Mega Battle Tournament December 23, 1998 2 1:26 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 1–1 Masayuki Naruse Submission Rings: Fourth Fighting Integration June 27, 1998 1 11:07 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Chris Haseman Submission Rings: Third Fighting Integration May 29, 1998 1 12:39 Tokyo, Japan

Kickboxing record[]

Kickboxing record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest