Reo Yamaguchi, a Japanese fighter from Nagoya grew up training in Martial Arts and has several medals/titles. Reo’s journey began when he was 5 years old training Kyokushin karate. By the age of 15 he became a junior national champion in Kyokushin karate. As a teenager Reo watched UFC on TV and his father, who is a MMA fan, recommended Reo try MMA. At the age of 16 he started training MMA and loved it. He trains hard and is very dedicated. He started competing in MMA 3 years ago and already has won gold medal in 2018 Oceania championships, silver medal in 2018 junior World, a silver medal 2018 junior World, 2019 junior European and 2019 junior World Championships.
As a child Reo would get nervous competing however since Reo has been competing for almost 15 years, he is able to channel his nerves before the fights. “When facing a loss in bouts, I concentrate on what I need to improve and train even harder than before.” Now Reo wants to improve his wrestling skills because compared to other countries, Japan has less wrestling training.
The best way to stay mentally healthy according to Reo, is to do what you love and dedicate yourself completely to it and for him that is MMA. He’s 20 years old, and has the opportunity to fully concentrate on MMA as he is not studying anything at the moment. Reo has a devoted fight team, management, sponsors, agents with him that he is very grateful for.
When not training, Reo watches English movies and reads books to improve English. In order to be a known fighter, Reo believes one needs to speak and understand English as well as have a good fighting record and to be proficient in social media. His amateur record is very impressive 13-4-0. In addition he is the 2nd ranked of 218 active Europe Western Amateur Bantamweights, and the 6th ranked of 104 active Middle East Amateur Bantamweights.
One of the challenges in preparing for a fight is making weight to make the category. “It is hard, however if I go to the next category then I will be the smallest in the category and it will present new challenges. Safety is very important when training and competing in MMA, a fighter has to be very careful about brain damage and other injuries.
His biggest inspiration is Kyoji Horiguchi. “ I have two reasons for this choice. First, Kyoji is a Karate based fighter like me and he has a Budo spirit that inspired me a lot. Second, he is one of a few Japanese professionals who is fighting in the world’s best stages and making good records. I really respect him and want to be like him.” Reo’s plans for the near future include becoming IMMAF junior world champion this year and senior world champion in the near future.