Week 1: Goiti Yamauchi
Division: Featherweight (145 Lbs)
Record: 15 Wins (13 SUB, 2 DEC), 1 Loss 1 (DEC)
Organization: Bellator MMA
Last 5 Fights:
- W – Musa Toliver – Bellator 99 – RD1 SUB (Rear Naked Choke) @ 1:01
- W – Sergio Silva Rodrigues – Smash Fight 1 – RD1 SUB (Rear Naked Choke) @ 3:38
- W – Diego Marlon – Smash Fight 1 – RD1 SUB (Armbar) @ 2:54
- W – Jurandir Sardinha – Iron Fight Combat 3 – RD3 DEC (Unanimous)
- W – Jose Ivanildo Lopes Sousa – Iron Fight Combat 2 – RD3 DEC (Unanimous)
Goiti Yamauchi is an interesting prospect. Yamauchi has trained almost exclusively with two people: his cousin Shyudi Yamauchi, who is his training partner, and his uncle Ossamu Yamauchi, his head coach. In spite of his lack of training partners, Yamauchi has been successful against many other prospects of various different fighting styles. As Yamauchi expands his fighting career to America, he has considered branching out to training camps inside the United States but he mostly believes in training where he feels most comfortable – which, for him, is his home town of Curitiba, Brazil.
Taking his first amateur fight at the age of 15, Yamauchi went on to win seven straight amateur bouts before turning pro in 2010 at the age of 17. Since then, Yamauchi has has accumulated an impressive 15-1 record at the young age of 20. His talent had been recognized by none other than Bellator MMA, an organization known for their ability to scout out young and exciting prospects. In his Bellator debut he faced and defeated Musa Toliver where he quickly disposed of his opponent by first round rear naked choke. However, unlike his fights prior to his debut, Yamauchi dropped down to the 145 division as opposed to his first 15 fights that took place at light weight.
- Take downs from the clinch
- Athletic, young, and strong.
- Great at getting advantageous positions from scrambles
- Superb transitions
- Top level submission game
Being a former light weight, Yamauchi’s size is something to take note of for a featherweight. At 5’10”, Yamauchi uses his strength advantage to show his dominance in the clinch utilizing trips and throws to get the fight to the ground where his real advantages lie. Yamauchi is a submission expert, more specifically a rear naked choke expert having earned 13 submission wins, 9 of them being by rear naked choke and 7 of those being inside the first round – though he often hunts for the arm bar before moving to a rear naked choke. Yamauchi’s transitional game allows him to chain together submission attempts overwhelming his opponents with his technique once he gets the fight to the ground.
- Lacks punching power
- Leaves his hands down at times
- Questionable training camp
Like many fighters who put a strong emphasis on their grappling, Yamauchi has some holes in his stand up that could cost him. His worst habit in his striking is that he leaves his hands down when throwing punches of his own leaving himself susceptible to counter striking. Should he face a fighter that he isn’t able to impose his strength and take downs on to get the fight where he is most dominant, something that is bound to happen eventually as he rises up in the ranks, his striking is going to have to improve otherwise a powerful counter puncher may be able to put him away.
And with that, while Yamauchi remains happy training inside the family in Curitiba if he is serious about becoming a top fighter then training with other top fighters is absolutely essential. While he has considered doing a several-week training camp before his fights in America, a full time move to a strong camp (even inside of Brazil) would be the most beneficial move for him.
Yamauchi is currently scheduled to fight Saul Almeida at Bellator 109 on Friday, November 22nd.
In the distant future, Yamauchi has all the promise in the world to become a top mixed martial artist. He is going to have to make the move to a legitimate mixed martial arts gym if he wants to make the proper adjustments to have a lasting professional career. However, his current training regimen has been successful as he continues to dominate his opponents and should he make any sort of adjustment to his training and bring in elite level wrestlers, grapplers, and strikers all he can do is improve.