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Born in Chita in the northwestern Chita Peninsula in southern Aichi Prefecture of Japan, Tetsuya Yamato was born on December 10th 1987 as Tetsuya Iwashita. He took on the name of Yamato after the kickboxing gym that he began at. After graduating high school, he became a painter and construction worker part time until his career as a fighter developed. Yamato is also nicknamed the Strong-Armed Painter and the Japanese Battleship.

Fight Career

Yamato debuted on the Japanese promotion R.I.S.E in mid 2005 when he was able to knock out Ejji Ogawa in the first round by decimating his leg with leg kicks. The R.I.S.E promotion is affiliated with the World Kickboxing Network. The promotion has a similar rule set as K1 kickboxing.

Yamato became sponsored by the NJKF, a promotion in Bunkyo, Tokyo and in his second fight he was able to win via technical knock out. Yamato was awarded a Rookie of the Year award by the promotion and he went on a successful run over the following four years with a total of thirteen fights with NJFK. He was able to take the vacant NJKF lightweight title. He took the title blet after a contest against Hiromi Nakayama due to referee stoppage in the fourth round.

Yamato took on pound for pound Muay Thai king Saenchai PK Sanchaimuaythai gym in Los Angeles for the now defunct Muay Thai in America promotion. The two fought for the lightweight world title sanctioned by the promotion and Yamato was stopped by Saenchai with a left kick in the first round. Yamato was also defeated by Sagatdao Petpayai in a M-One show in America. The Thai fighter was able to end his Japanese opponents via elbow technical knock out in the fourth round.

He was, however, able to return to America and have several successful bouts most famously with American Muay Thai favorite Kevin Ross. He battled Ross on the Lion Fight promotion twice. Their first clash entitled “The Nightmare on Freemont Street.” Yamato sliced up Ross and when it went to the judges’ decision Yamato was awarded the win. Ross sought revenge against Yamato in 2015. He defeated Ross again via elbows in the first round. Yamato was also able to beat out Coke Chunawat in America via elbow stoppage as well.

Yamato might be best known for his K1 Max wins. He defeated three opponents in one night in the 63kg tournament, felling all his opponents with left hooks. He won against his opponents in the first, second and third round respectively.

Stylistically Yamato is rooted in Kickboxing as many Japanese fighters are but Yamato is very, very dangerous with his elbows as was seen in his bouts with Kevin Ross. He has explosive hands as well.

He recently took a decision loss to England’s well regarded Liam Harrison in early 2016 at YOKKAO 17 for the 65kg World Title in Bolton England. Since then he took a decision loss to Petchanong Banchamek but succeeded in defeating Hiroya on a K1 show recently via left hook to the body.

Are you are interested in hosting a seminar with Tetsuya Yamato or inviting him to fight on your show?