Tom Niinimäki (born July 25, 1982) is a Finnish professional mixed martial artist who formerly competed in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Tom Niinimäki
Born (1982-07-25) July 25, 1982 (age 37)
Turku, Finland
Other namesStoneface
NationalityFinnish
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight
Reach69.0 in (175 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofBoca Raton, Florida, United States
TeamFinnfighters Gym
Blackzilians
TrainerWrestling: Ari Heikiö
Boxing: Sampo Pänttäjä
Strength training: Vesa Vuori
RankPurple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[2]
Years active2002–2017 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total31
Wins22
By knockout7
By submission8
By decision7
Losses8
By knockout1
By submission5
By decision2
Draws1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Niinimäki began training in kickboxing at the age of 15, and mixed martial arts at 19.[3][4] He made his professional MMA debut in October 2002 in his native Finland. He assembled an impressive record of 9-2 in the first two years of competition, with all but one of his wins coming by way of submission or TKO.

Beginning in 2005, Niinimäki hit a rough patch where he lost three fights in a row. After one more win in 2007, he retired from competition,[4] saying that he had "lost his fire" to compete.

After a two and a half year hiatus, Niinimäki returned to the sport in February 2010. Since his return he has been unbeaten and maintained an 11-fight winning streak[5] before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Niinimäki made his promotional debut against Rani Yahya on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale.[6] He won the fight via split decision.

Niinimäki was expected to face Thiago Tavares on May 31, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 41.[7] However, on May 14, Tavares pulled out of the fight due to thigh injury and was replaced by Niklas Bäckström.[8] Niinimäki lost the back-and-forth fight in the first round by submission.

Niinimäki next faced Chas Skelly on August 23, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 49.[9] He lost the fight via submission in the first round.

On November 7, 2014 Niinimäki announced that he had signed a new four-fight contract with UFC.[10]

Niinimäki was expected to face Rony Jason on December 20, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 58.[11] However, Jason pulled out of the bout on December 10 and was replaced by promotional newcomer Renato Moicano.[12] Niinimäki lost the bout via submission in the second round.

On January 27, 2015, MMAFighting.com reported that Niinimäki had been released from his UFC contract along with four other fighters.[13]

Post-UFC careerEdit

In late April 2016, Niinimäki was announced as one of the fighters that had signed on with new European promotion European Fighting Challenge.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Before moving to Boca Raton, Florida, Niinimäki lived his entire life in Turku, Finland and worked as a bouncer in several nightclubs.[15]

Management and sponsorsEdit

In the early 2012, Niinimäki signed a two-year management contract with Authentic Sports Management. After closing the deal, the management rapidly sent Niinimäki to train at Imperial Athletics gym with a mixed martial arts group later known as Blackzilians.[16] In January 2014, Niinimäki moved to Florida to be able to continue training with Blackzilians at Jaco Hybrid Training Center.[15]

In May 2014, online gambling company Unibet announced a sponsor deal with Niinimäki.[17]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

WrestlingEdit

  • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
    • 2011: 1st place - European Championships Grappling No Gi (155 lbs)[4]
    • 2011: 3rd place - European Championships Grappling No Gi (165 lbs)[4]
    • 2010: 3rd place - European Championships Grappling No Gi (155 lbs)[4]
    • 2010: 1st place - European Championships Combat Grappling (155 lbs)[4]

Mixed martial artsEdit

  • Cage
    • Featherweight Champion[4]
  • TurkuFight
    • Featherweight Champion
  • Nordic MMA Awards - MMAviking.com
    • 2013 Fighter of the Year[18]

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
31 matches 22 wins 8 losses
By knockout 7 1
By submission 8 5
By decision 7 2
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 22–8–1 Jonathan Brookins Decision (unanimous) Euro FC 1 October 1, 2016 3 5:00 Espoo, Finland
Loss 21–8–1 Renato Moicano Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Dollaway December 20, 2014 2 3:30 Barueri, Brazil
Loss 21–7–1 Chas Skelly Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos August 23, 2014 1 2:35 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 21–6–1 Niklas Bäckström Submission (bulldog choke) UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi May 31, 2014 1 4:15 Berlin, Germany
Win 21–5–1 Rani Yahya Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale November 30, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 20–5–1 Walel Watson Submission (kimura) Cage 23 September 21, 2013 2 2:52 Vantaa, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 19–5–1 Chase Beebe Decision (unanimous) Cage 22 May 11, 2013 3 5:00 Vantaa, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 18–5–1 Vladimir Karasiov Submission (guillotine choke) Cage 20: Northern Storm 2 November 17, 2012 1 1:31 Oulu, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 17–5–1 Brian Pearman Submission (rear-naked choke) TFC 23: Fight for the Troops June 15, 2012 2 3:48 Fort Riley, Kansas, United States
Win 16–5–1 Johnny Frachey KO (punch) Cage 16: 1st Defense October 8, 2011 1 1:09 Espoo, Finland Defended Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 15–5–1 Sergej Grecicho Decision (unanimous) Cage 14: All Stars November 20, 2010 3 5:00 Espoo, Finland Won Cage Featherweight Championship
Win 14–5–1 Dave Hill Decision (unanimous) TF 2: Champions are Here October 23, 2010 3 5:00 Turku, Finland Won TurkuFight Featherweight Championship
Win 13–5–1 Ben Boekee Submission (kimura) Cage 13: Spring Break May 8, 2010 1 3:47 Vantaa, Finland
Win 12–5–1 Yunus Evloev Submission (kimura) TF: Resurrection April 3, 2010 1 Turku, Finland
Win 11–5–1 Lautaro Arborelo Submission (rear-naked choke) Cage 12: Champions are Born February 28, 2010 2 1:26 Vantaa, Finland
Win 10–5–1 Bogdan Cristea Decision (unanimous) CW 7: Scotland The Brave August 4, 2007 3 5:00 Glasgow, Scotland
Loss 9–5–1 Tristan Yunker Submission (rear-naked choke) IHC 11: Apocalypse November 18, 2006 1 1:34 Vantaa, Finland
Loss 9–4–1 Hatsu Hioki Technical Submission (armbar) Shooto 2005: 11/6 in Korakuen Hall November 6, 2005 1 3:03 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 9–3–1 Danny Batten Decision (majority) CWFC: Strike Force 2 July 16, 2005 5 5:00 Coventry, England
Draw 9–2–1 Bendy Casimir Draw Shooto Sweden: Second Impact March 14, 2005 2 5:00 Stockholm, Sweden
Win 9–2 Andre Soares Decision (unanimous) Cage Warriors 9: Xtreme Xmas December 18, 2004 3 5:00 Sheffield, England
Win 8–2 Patrick Rahael TKO FF 8: FinnFight 8 November 26, 2004 Turku, Finland
Win 7–2 Vincent Latoel TKO Shooto Finland: Ragnarok October 24, 2004 2 2:25 Tampere, Finland
Win 6–2 Carlos Carrasco Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: Switzerland 2 September 4, 2004 1 Zurich, Switzerland
Win 5–2 Vincent Latoel Submission (triangle Choke) Shooto Finland: Capital Punishment 2 April 5, 2004 2 2:03 Helsinki, Finland
Win 4–2 Ville Honkala TKO FF 7: FinnFight 7 November 1, 2003 1 8:39 Turku, Finland
Win 3–2 Teemu Nurkkala TKO (injury) FF 7: FinnFight 7 November 1, 2003 1 0:15 Turku, Finland
Loss 2–2 Mikael Lahdesmaki Decision (unanimous) Shooto Finland: Capital Punishment September 15, 2003 2 5:00 Helsinki, Finland
Loss 2–1 Per Eklund TKO (punches) FF 6: FinnFight 6 November 30, 2002 1 3:53 Turku, Finland
Win 2–0 Janne Salminen KO (knees) FF 6: FinnFight 6 November 30, 2002 1 0:32 Turku, Finland
Win 1–0 Mikael Lahdesmaki TKO (corner stoppage) Shooto Finland: The First Time October 19, 2002 1 5:00 Turku, Finland

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Henderson vs. Dos Anjos". UFC.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  2. ^ Ariel Shnerer (May 29, 2014). "UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi Preview & Predictions". Fight Network.
  3. ^ http://www.tomniinimaki.com/
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Staff (November 30, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki - Official UFC Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Guilherme Cruz (October 8, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki signs with the UFC, fights Rani Yahya at TUF 18 Finale". mmafighting.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  6. ^ MMAjunkie.com Staff (October 8, 2013). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Rani Yahya featherweight fight headed to TUF 18 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-04-01). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Thiago Tavares added to UFC Fight Night card in Berlin". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  8. ^ Ryan O'Leary. "Bäckström Versus Niinimäki Booked for UFC Berlin". mmaviking.com. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Staff (2014-06-12). "Tom Niinimaki vs. Chas Skelly added to UFC Fight Night 49 in Tulsa". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  10. ^ Teemu Tammilehto (2014-11-07). "Niinimäki sai uuden UFC-sopimuksen – "Ei tarkoita mitään"" (in Finnish). yle.fi.
  11. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-11-04). "UFC Fight Night 58 card complete with addition of Rony Jason vs. Tom Niinimaki". mmafighting.com.
  12. ^ Staff (2014-12-10). "Rony Jason out, Tom Niinimaki meets Renato Carneiro at UFC Fight Night 58". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  13. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2015-01-27). "Igor Pokrajac among five fighters released from the UFC".
  14. ^ Mark Bergmann (April 29, 2016). "New promotion EuroFC features UFC vets Niinimaki, Badurek, launches in October". bloodyelbow.com.
  15. ^ a b Joona Pylkäs (2014-01-23). "UFC Featherweight Tom Niinimäki Headed for The Sunshine State". mmaviking.com.
  16. ^ "Tom Niinimäki maistelee amerikanmeininkiä" (in Finnish). 2014-05-08.
  17. ^ "Unibet tukemaan Tom "Stoneface" Niinimäkeä" (in Finnish). unibet.com. 2014-05-07.
  18. ^ "MMAViking.com's Yearly Nordic Awards". mmaviking.com.

External linksEdit