Yamato Nishikawa will not be making his UFC debut at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Nishikawa was a short-notice replacement to face Magomed Mustafaev at lightweight in an intriguing matchup. However, on Tuesday it was revealed by MMA reporter Igor Lazorin, that Nishikawa was still under contract for another promotion and they wouldn’t give him his release, thus meaning his scrap against Mustafaev is off. The main event of UFC 280 sees the vacant lightweight title up for grabs as Charles Oliveira takes on Islam Makhachev.
Yamato Nishikawa (21-3-6) is just 19-years-old and has been a pro since 2016. During his career, he has fought solely in Japan and has fought for organizations like PFC and Shooto. In his career, he holds notable wins over Nobumitsu Osawa, Yuki Kawana, Toshiki Watanabe, and Sotaro Yamada. He also has so many draws due to PFC only having two rounds.
Magomed Mustafaev (14-3) has not fought since UFC Auckland in February of 2020 when he dropped a split decision to Brad Riddell. The Russian has been in the UFC since 2015 but has fought just five times in the promotion holding a record of 3-2. He started out his UFC tenure with TKO wins over Piotr Hallmann and Joe Proctor and then was submitted by Kevin Lee but followed that up with a TKO win over Rafael Fiziev. Prior to signing with the UFC, he also had notable wins over Abubakar Nurmagomedov.
During his time off, Mustafaev was scheduled to face Renato Moicano and then Mateusz Gamrot on October 18, 2020 but the fight never came to fruiton. He was then set to face Damir Ismagulov on October 30, 2021 but Ismagulov missed weight by 7.5lbs and the bout was scrapped. Mustafaev was then booked to face Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 280 but the Australian pulled out due to an injury and was replaced Nishikawa.
With Nishikawa vs. Mustafaev off, UFC 280 is now as follows:
- Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev
- Aljamain Sterling vs. TJ Dillashaw
- Petr Yan vs. Sean O’Malley
- Beneil Dariush vs. Mateusz Gamrot
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Manon Fiorot
- Belal Muhammad vs. Sean Brady
- Makhmud Muradov vs. Caio Borralho
- Volkan Oezdemir vs. Nikita Krylov
- Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lucas Almeida
- Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev
- Armen Petrosyan vs. AJ Dobson
- Muhammad Mokaev vs. Malcolm Gordon
- Lina Lasberg vs. Karol Rosa
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime