Kazuhiro Nakamura

Kazuhiro Nakamura (中村和裕, born July 16, 1979) is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist who competed as a Middleweight in DREAM, and is a former DEEP Middleweight Champion. He fought out of the Yoshida Dojo and also competed in the Pride Fighting Championships, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Sengoku Raiden Championship. His primary style is judo, in which he holds a third dan black belt under Hidehiko Yoshida.[1]

Kazuhiro Nakamura
Born (1979-07-16) July 16, 1979 (age 41)
Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan
Other namesKing Kaz, Kaz
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach70.0 in (178 cm)
TeamYoshida Dojo
Team Kaz
TrainerHidehiko Yoshida
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka
RankThird dan black belt in judo
Years active2003 - 2014
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout5
By submission3
By decision13
By knockout4
By submission3
By decision6
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Starting judo at 10 years old, Nakamura went to train under Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki and enter the Fukuyama University team. He became a professional judoka under the sponsorship of Keiyo Gas and competed at national and international level, placing third at the Japanese championships at 100+. His career in judo lasted until 2002, when he met Hidehiko Yoshida and became a member of his Yoshida Dojo.[2]

PRIDE Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

Nakamura made his MMA debut at PRIDE 25 against Antônio Rogério Nogueira, losing by submission in the second round. He has also lost to Nogueira in a rematch at PRIDE Bushido 4. His career in PRIDE was notable for fighting many of PRIDE's top fighters, including Wanderlei Silva, Maurício Rua, Dan Henderson, and Josh Barnett. His final fight in PRIDE was a decision loss to Maurício Rua at PRIDE Shockwave 2006.[3] He was known for his flashy entrances, often coming to the ring wearing sunglasses and accompanied by penguin mascots.[2]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Nakamura made his debut in the UFC at UFC 76 against Lyoto Machida. His first apparition in the promotion was specially notable for his entrance and attire choices, coming to the cage wearing an ornated kimono, a jingasa hat and a gas mask before taking them off to reveal floral print shorts. He also carried a wagasa umbrella and exhibited a haircut adopted from Japanese comedian Toru Hotohara.[2] During the fight, Nakamura absorbed punishment and avoided several possible finishes, but he lost by unanimous decision. After the contest, Nakamura would be suspended and fined $500 by the CSAC for failing a drug test for marijuana.[4] Kazuhiro would protest the results, but it was not revoked.[2]

His next fight in the UFC was a loss by TKO (injury) to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at UFC 84. He was subsequently released by the promotion.

Sengoku Raiden ChampionshipEdit

After a three-fight losing stint which included losses to future UFC Light Heavyweight Champions Lyoto Machida and Maurício Rua, Nakamura decided to debut at a new weight class Middleweight (185 lbs) after having spent his entire career at Light Heavyweight.

Nakamura debuted at Sengoku: Fifth Battle as an entrant in the inaugural Middleweight Grand prix eliminating British Paul Cahoon. He returned at Sengoku - Sixth battle as part of the final four. Kazuhiro Nakamura defeated fellow countryman Yuki Sasaki via unanimous decision and booked a spot later that evening in the final. Nakamura fought against tournament favourite Jorge Santiago and took him to the third round before losing via KO at 0:49 of the third round.

Nakamura Returned at Sengoku: Ninth Battle in a title eliminator that saw the winner rematch champion Jorge Santiago. Nakamura was stunned by Kazuo Misaki and lost via submission in the first round.


A farewell event for Nakamura's teacher, Hidehiko Yoshida, was held on April 25, 2010. Nakamura defeated Yoshida via unanimous decision.

Nakamura made his return at Dream 17 to face UFC vet Gerald Harris. He lost the fight via split decision.


On October 19, 2012, Nakamura made his debut in DEEP, where he defeated Ryuta Sakurai by majority decision. On February 16, 2013, Nakamura defeated Young Choi to win the vacant DEEP Middleweight Championship which is the first title of his career.

Nakamura faced Daijiro Matsui on June 30, 2013 at DEEP: King Kaz Fight in Fukuyama. Nakamura won via KO in the first round.

On August 25, 2013, Nakamura faced Henry Miller at DEEP: 63 Impact. Nakamura won the bout via first-round knockout.

Nakamura then faced Yuji Sakuragi at DEEP: Cage Impact 2013 on November 24, 2013. Nakamura won by arm triangle choke submission in the third round.[5]

Nakamura was defeated by Ken Hasegawa via majority decision on March 22, 2014 at DEEP: 65 Impact.

On July 21, 2014, Nakamura faced Seigo Mizuguchi at DEEP: Cage Impact 2014 and won via second round corner stoppage.

Nakamura faced Yoshiyuki Nakanishi on December 21, 2014 in DEEP. He lost the fight by unanimous decision and retired from MMA competition after the fight.[6]

Professional wrestlingEdit

On February 22, 2014, Nakamura made a one-off professional wrestling appearance for the Wrestle-1 promotion, teaming with Masakatsu Funaki, Manabu Soya and Seiya Sanada in an eight-man tag team match, where they defeated Desperado (Masayuki Kono, Kazma Sakamoto, René Duprée and Ryouji Sai).[7]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
34 matches 21 wins 13 losses
By knockout 5 4
By submission 3 3
By decision 13 6
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 21–13 Yoshiyuki Nakanishi Decision (unanimous) Deep: 70 Impact December 21, 2014 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Loss DEEP Middleweight Championship.
Win 21–12 Seigo Mizuguchi TKO (corner stoppage) Deep: Cage Impact 2014 July 21, 2014 2 3:25 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 20–12 Ken Hasegawa Decision (majority) Deep: 65 Impact March 22, 2014 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan For the DEEP Megaton Championship.
Win 20–11 Yuji Sakuragi Submission (arm-triangle choke) Deep: Cage Impact 2013 November 24, 2013 3 2:49 Tokyo, Japan
Win 19–11 Henry Miller KO (punch)[8] Deep: 63 Impact August 25, 2013 1 4:42 Tokyo, Japan
Win 18–11 Daijiro Matsui KO (knee and punches) Deep: King Kaz Fight in Fukuyama June 30, 2013 1 1:30 Hiroshima, Japan
Win 17–11 Young Choi Decision (unanimous) Deep: 61 Impact February 16, 2013 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Won vacant DEEP Middleweight Championship.
Win 16–11 Ryuta Sakurai Decision (majority) Deep: 60 Impact October 19, 2012 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 15–11 Gerald Harris Decision (split) Dream 17 September 24, 2011 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 15–10 Karl Amoussou Decision (unanimous) Dream 15 July 10, 2010 2 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 14–10 Hidehiko Yoshida Decision (unanimous) Astra: Yoshida's Farewell April 25, 2010 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 13–10 Kazuo Misaki Technical Submission (guillotine choke) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 9 August 2, 2009 1 3:03 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 13–9 Jorge Santiago TKO (punches) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 6 November 1, 2008 3 0:49 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Sengoku Middleweight Grandprix 2008 Final Round.
Win 13–8 Yuki Sasaki Decision (unanimous) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 6 November 1, 2008 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Sengoku Middleweight Grandprix 2008 Semifinal Round.
Win 12–8 Paul Cahoon Decision (unanimous) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 5 September 28, 2008 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Sengoku Middleweight Grandprix 2008 Opening Round. Drops to Middleweight.
Loss 11–8 Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou TKO (leg injury) UFC 84 May 24, 2008 1 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 11–7 Lyoto Machida Decision (unanimous) UFC 76 September 22, 2007 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Loss 11–6 Maurício Rua Decision (unanimous) Pride FC - Shockwave 2006 December 31, 2006 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 11–5 Travis Galbraith TKO (knee and punches) Pride 32 - The Real Deal October 21, 2006 2 1:16 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–5 Yoshihiro Nakao Decision (unanimous) Pride FC - Final Conflict Absolute September 10, 2006 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 9–5 Evangelista Santos Submission (americana) Pride FC - Critical Countdown Absolute July 1, 2006 1 4:49 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 8–5 Josh Barnett Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride 31 - Dreamers February 26, 2006 1 8:10 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Heavyweight bout.
Win 8–4 Yuki Kondo Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Shockwave 2005 December 31, 2005 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 7–4 Igor Vovchanchyn Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 August 28, 2005 2 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 6–4 Wanderlei Silva TKO (punches) PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 June 26, 2005 1 5:24 Saitama, Saitama, Japan PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 6–3 Kevin Randleman Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Total Elimination 2005 April 23, 2005 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Opening Round.
Win 5–3 Stefan Leko TKO (punches) PRIDE 29 February 20, 2005 1 0:54 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 4–3 Dan Henderson TKO (shoulder injury) PRIDE 28 October 31, 2004 1 1:15 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 4–2 Murilo Bustamante Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Final Conflict 2004 August 15, 2004 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 3–2 Antônio Rogério Nogueira Decision (split) PRIDE Bushido 4 July 19, 2004 2 5:00 Nagoya, Japan
Win 3–1 Chalid Arrab Submission (armbar) PRIDE Bushido 3 May 23, 2004 1 4:45 Yokohama, Japan
Win 2–1 Dos Caras, Jr. Decision (unanimous) PRIDE 27 February 1, 2004 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Win 1–1 Daniel Gracie Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Bushido 1 October 5, 2003 2 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 0–1 Antônio Rogério Nogueira Submission (armbar) PRIDE 25 March 16, 2003 2 3:49 Yokohama, Japan


  1. ^ "Kazuhiro Nakamura « ADCC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BARCELONA 2009". Adccbarcelona.com. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  2. ^ a b c d Snowden, Jonathan. MMA Encyclopedia, ECW Press, 2010
  3. ^ Bolduc, Justin (2006-12-06). "Two More Fights Added to Shockwave 2006". Nokaut. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
  4. ^ "NAKAMURA FAILS UFC 76 DRUG TEST". mmaweekly.com. September 26, 2007.
  5. ^ "TSUDA EARNS QUICK KO, NAKAMURA SUBMITS SAKURAGI AT DEEP 'CAGE IMPACT 2013'". sherdog.com. November 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "DEEP 70 - 12/21/2014: Kazuhiro Nakamura retired from MMA". adcombat.com. January 4, 2015. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "Wrestle-1 Tour 2014 West Side Story". Wrestle-1 (in Japanese). February 22, 2014. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  8. ^ "FightCenter". Tapology.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.

External linksEdit