'Kid' Yamamoto Injures Knee, Out of Dream
A difficult situation may have become a full-out nightmare for
The promotion’s July 21 card at Osaka Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan,
has been hit with a host of injuries. Now Dream parent company
Fighting and Entertainment Group has announced that Japanese
"Kid" Yamamoto (Pictures) has withdrawn from his bout
Benavidez (Pictures) due to a knee injury.
Yamamoto could be facing six months on the shelf. He told the
Japanese media that while sparring on Thursday, he attempted a
flying knee, landed awkwardly on his right leg and heard his knee
pop. After icing his knee throughout the night, Yamamoto went to
the hospital this morning for X-rays and an MRI.
The 31-year-old firebrand was diagnosed with a partial tear of his
right anterior cruciate ligament. Yamamoto said that follow-up
would be necessary to determine whether he needs surgery, but that
he ardently hopes to not have to go under the knife.
This is not his first high-profile injury. Following his brief
departure from MMA to pursue a freestyle wrestling bid for the
forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games, Yamamoto suffered a dislocated
right elbow during a match with 2004 Athens Games bronze medalist
Kenji Inoue at the Emperor's Cup in January 2007.
To add insult to injury, Yamamoto's reputation could be in for a
bruising. In the forthcoming issue of infamous Japanese tabloid
Shukan Gendai -- best known to MMA fans for investigative assaults
on Pride, Pride parent company Dream Stage Entertainment and
alleged organized crime affiliations -- a feature story alleges
that Yamamoto is an active user of marijuana.
Although such an allegation may not seem particularly hurtful from
a Western perspective, marijuana is extremely socially stigmatized
in Japan. Under Japan's Cannabis Control Law, simple possession of
marijuana alone can result in a five-year prison sentence.
As for Benavidez, Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara said that
the promotion is looking for a replacement opponent and hopes to
keep the undefeated protégé of Urijah Faber
(Pictures) on the injury-plagued card.
On Wednesday, featherweight standout Hideo Tokoro
(Pictures) was involved in a rear-end
collision and suffered a mild waist and back injury that has cast
his Monday bout with Takeshi
Yamazaki (Pictures) into limbo. Previously, Mirko
Filipovic (Pictures) and Jerome
LeBanner (Pictures) were both nixed from the card due
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