Yılmaz was born in 1975 in Kırşehir, and moved to Istanbul at the age of 2. He started learning Taekwondo at the age of 12 under the instruction of Salih Güzelordu. Later, he continued with Sadik Oflu. He started learning kickboxing at 13 years old.
He fought a lot of competitive matches in his young years, and won the tournaments in Istanbul in the 36, 40, 47 and 54 kg weight categories. He eventually became the Turkish champion in 1992, and at that time started training in kickboxing with Sadik Oflu. From 1992 to 2002, he won and defended the championship title, in Turkey and Europe. In the meantime, he started fighting wushu matches from 2000. He won the Turkish Wushu championship titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Yılmaz started his K-1 career in 2003, defeating Takashi Ohno at K-1 World MAX 2003 World Tournament Final in his debut. He lost his next fight to Mike Cope, but was invited to compete in the 8-man Japan Grand Prix at K-1 World MAX 2004 Japan Tournament on February 24, 2004. He knocked out Kazuya Yasuhiro and Tomo in the quarter and semi-final stages before losing to Takayuki Kohiruimaki by decision in the final.
On April 7, 2004, Yılmaz lost to Japanese fans’ favourite Masato via decision in the opening round of the K-1 World MAX at K-1 World MAX 2004 World Tournament Open. Following this, he competed twice more for K-1, against the USA’s Duane Ludwig and Thailand’s Shin Nopadetsorn, both of which he lost.
Yılmaz then fought one mixed martial arts match against Caol Uno in 2005, and lost via submission with an armlock.