The MMA world is in mourning after a legend of the sport, Kid Yamamoto, tragically passed away aged 41.
The legendary fighter sadly lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday (AEST), as announced by his gym in Tokyo, Krazybee.
In August of 2018, Yamamoto revealed on Instagram that he was battling the terrible disease, his condition clearly deteriorated incredibly quickly.
He was receiving treatment in Guam at the time of his death.
The Japanese star was considered one of the greatest lightweight fighters in history and in 2006 recorded the fastest knockout in MMA history with a brutal flying knee, just four seconds into his bout.
The 5-foot-3 pocket rocket enjoyed rock star-level fame in Japan, earning himself a number of huge endorsement deals.
He had amassed an incredible 17-1 professional record before he initially retired in 2007.
Yamamoto would return to the sport in 2009, but he was never the same, winning only one of his last seven fights.
He even tried his hand at the UFC in 2011, but went down in a points decision to future UFC legend Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson in his first fight in the organisation.
Tributes flooded social media as the tragic news of his death spread, with UFC president Dana White quick to share his thoughts.
😔 Damn. An absolute legend and trailblazer. Terribly sad. Rest easy, Kid Yamamoto https://t.co/EtD5Sj7MAa
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) September 18, 2018
A true legend of the sport has left us, Kid Yamamoto.
My thoughts are with his family and worldwide fans as we reflect on an amazing person and athlete.
— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) September 18, 2018
Kid Yamamoto was one of those legendary fighters you’d scramble to watch compete no matter what hour of the day or night he was competing. It’s a sad day as a great is gone far, far too soon. https://t.co/b8J3GyyUXx
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) September 18, 2018
Norifumi Yamamoto was a pillar of not merely Japanese MMA or the kakutogi boom, but for a moment in time, the elite of MMA itself. Athletic swagger oozing from every pore. Highlight reel machine. Aggressive and efficient.
He is impossible to understand by his UFC run alone.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) September 18, 2018