Yamato Nishikawa will no longer be on the UFC 280 card. Multiple reports stated that the Japanese welterweight has a pre existing contract with another promotion.
But Nishikawa claims that this is not the case and it is actually his opponent, Magomed Mustafaev, who pulled out of the fight. He released a statement in which he made it clear that the reports about his contractual situation were incorrect:
UPDATE: Yamato Nishikawa 's Statement: “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!” pic.twitter.com/PS8bQ9nA0b
— Bruno Massami (Бруно Массами) (@BrMassami) October 18, 2022
The highly experienced 19 year old, who is on a 14 fight winning streak, had been booked to face Mustafaev in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Prior to signing for the UFC he has mainly fought for Shooto but did compete once for ONE championship under Muay Thai rules.
Nishikawa hasn’t lost a fight since 2018 but will have to wait a little longer to make his UFC debut. Mustafaev has now had six of his last seven fights fall through.
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As previously announced the event will be headlined by a lightweight title fight with former champion Charles Oliveira challenging Islam Makhachev for the vacant belt.
Oliveira lost the title on the scales after narrowly missing weight at UFC 274. He was only over by 0.5lbs and went on to beat Justin Gaethje by first round submission to extend his winning streak to 11.
Makhachev comes into this contest on a ten fight winning streak. He is a protege of Khabib Nurmagomedov and would love to follow in his mentor’s footsteps by taking the UFC lightweight belt back to Dagestan.
— UFC (@ufc) July 16, 2022
The other fights currently on the card include a bantamweight bout between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley. The Russian is the former bantamweight champion and this will be his third time fighting in Abu Dhabi.
O’Malley fought to a no contest with Pedro Munhoz at UFC 279 earlier this month. The popular American has been handed a quick turnaround but faces arguably the toughest test of his career against a former bantamweight champion.
Both men have gone back and forth on social media and this will definitely be a grudge match:
Hey pink poodle @SugaSeanMMA , if you win on Saturday and really wanna fight me I dare you to call me out and I will accept it. But if you just wanna make useless noise for hype, stop talking about me, coward 🐩
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) July 1, 2022
Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who has a 2014 loss to Mustafaev on his record, will be looking to continue the legacy left by his more famous cousin when he fights at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. It is the sight of some of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s most famous wins.
But Nurmagomedov has been a success in sanctioned MMA competition, although not quite as successful as his cousin. He is coming off a decision win over Jared Gooden at UFC 260.
Omargadzhiev is coming off the first defeat of his entire career. He had won 13 fights out of 13 until suffering a technical decision loss to Caio Borralho at UFC Vegas 51.
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During the pandemic the UFC declared that Abu Dhabi was ‘Fight Island’ and in total there have been 16 events held there. The country first hosted a card in 2010 but has emerged as a destination for some of the biggest fights in recent years.
Some of the biggest UFC fights of recent years have taken place in Abu Dhabi. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor have headlined several cards there.