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UFC 280 fighter ripped from Abu Dhabi lineup, cut from promotion

MMA: AUG 16 UFC - Dana White’s Contender Series Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yamato Nishikawa will no longer be fighting Magomed Mustafaev on the UFC 280 preliminary card this Sat. (Oct. 22, 2022) at Etihad Arena on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. In fact, the 19 year-old welterweight won’t be fighting for UFC at all, having drawn his release earlier this week before setting foot inside the world-famous Octagon.

So what happened?

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YEAR-END PPV BLOWOUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) closes out its final pay-per-view (PPV) of the year on Sat., Dec. 10, 2022, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Jan Blachowicz, looking to stop the momentum of No. 3-seeded Magomed Ankalaev. In the co-main event of UFC 282, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, breakout star, Paddy Pimblett, intends to keep his momentum going at the expense of gritty veteran, Jared Gordon.

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According to this report, the 21-3-6 Nishikawa is still under contract with Shooto, marking the second time UFC has run into this problem within the last month. Ares FC heavyweight champion Slim Trablesi was also signed and booked for UFC 280, only to be released 24 hours later as a result of contractual issues with both Ares FC and MMA Factory.

Mustafaev will not remain in the lineup and is expected to return later this year; however, With two other welterweight matchups on the UFC 280 fight card — Sean Brady vs. Belal Muhammad and Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev — it’s not unreasonable to think Mustafaev will be kept on standby in case of emergency.

As of this writing, all duffel bags (and their starchy contents) are present and accounted for. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 280 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPNews at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280: “Oliveira vs. Makhachev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 280 fight card and PPV line up click here.

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