UFC 280 Loses Yamato Nishikawa vs. Magomed Mustafaev

Magomed mustafaev UFC St. Petersburg
Magomed Mustafaev Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Japanese lightweight Yamato Nishikawa will not be making his octagon debut at UFC 280 this weekend as expected.

Nishikawa (21-3-6), who has a veteran’s record at just 19-years-old, had been expected to face Magomed Mustafaev (14-4) on the preliminary portion of the PPV event in Abu Dhabi, UAE. However, on Tuesday, reports surfaced that the fight was off, with the news originally attributed to reporter Igor Lazorin, citing Nishikawa’s contract with a former promotion.

Most recently, Nishikawa has been competing under the Shooto banner.

A short while later, Nishikawa himself took to social media to contradict that report (translation via Gazeta Esportiva), saying “Fight got canceled due to my opponent’s reason. Overseas media is making up a story. I absolutely do not lie because I believe in Bushido spirit!”

Nishikawa, who once competed on ONE Championship’s Road to ONE series, has won ten straight fights dating back to May of 2020. Nine of those wins have come under the Shooto banner, with a Vale Tudo Japan bout being the tenth.

Opponent Magomed Mustafaev is 3-2 inside the octagon, but has not competed since 2020. He holds a key win over Rafael Fiziev, but has fought in fits and starts since joining the UFC in 2015. Mustaev has seen no fewer than five fights cancelled since he last competed.

It remains to be seen if the fight is rescheduled, or if one of Mustafaev or Nishikawa (depending on the circumstances) stays on the UFC 280 card.

UFC 280 takes place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi this Saturday, October 22, 2022. Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev face off for lightweight gold in the main event. The following bouts are expected for the card:

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev – for the vacant UFC lightweight championship
  • Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for the UFC bantamweight championship
  • 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
  • Nikita Krylov vs. Volkan Oezdemir
  • Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lucas Almeida
  • Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev
  • Armen Petrosyan vs. A.J. Dobson
  • Muhammad Mokaev vs. Malcolm Gordon
  • Karol Rosa vs. Lina Länsberg