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Fighter bounced from UFC 280, cut from UFC roster

Yamato Nishikawa was expected to make his debut with the UFC against Magomed Mustafaev. Turns out he was already under contract with someone else, and they wouldn’t let him go.

Longtime UFC veteran Ilir Latifi has been removed from the promotion’s roster
Longtime UFC veteran Ilir Latifi has been removed from the promotion’s roster
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The ever-shifting UFC roster continues to change. UFC Roster Watch—a bot that scrapes UFC.com for shifts in the promotion’s online roster—has revealed that four new names have been dropped from the promotion’s lists of active fighters. Those removed include longtime UFC veterans Ilir Latifi and Bobby Green, as well as Randy Costa.

Alongside those more recognizable names, however, is that of Shooto lightweight champion Yamato Nishikawa. Nishikawa has been cut from the UFC before even getting his first match. The Japanese newcomer was set to take on Magomed Mustafaev as a late replacement for Australia’s Jamie Mullarkey. Only, it turns out that he’s still under contract with what was supposed to be his former promotion. And it seems they have no interest in letting him out of his contract early. No word on if the UFC is still interested in picking him up in the future, but that particular wrinkle will most definitely need to be ironed out before he can set foot in the Octagon.

Ilir Latifi is fresh off of a unanimous decision victory over Aleksei Oleinik at UFC Vegas 61. In his post-fight interview he mentioned that he had successfully fought out his contract. He also alluded to a possible ride off into the sunset, without actually committing to leaving his gloves in the Octagon. If Ilir is indeed retiring, then good for him AND us. Very rarely do we see fighters go out on a dub, let alone on a two-fight winning streak. Latifi owns a respectable 16-8 record, with nine wins and six losses occurring in the UFC.

That brings us to Randy Costa. Out of everyone else that’s part of this round of cuts, Costa’s case is probably the saddest of them all. After starting his UFC career 2-1, Randy ran into some trouble in his last-three matches, getting finished in each of them. He was knocked out twice in 2021, and then recently got choked out by Guido Cannetti at UFC Vegas 61 earlier this month. He’ll exit the UFC with a record of 2-4, and an overall score of 6-4. Costa may not win all the time, but he is all action. Each of his 10 career collisions have ended inside the distance.

UFC veteran Bobby Green is the last name to show up on this list, but that’s because he is currently serving a six-month USADA suspension after testing positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). For now he’s been dropped from the ranks of active competitors, but fans should expect to see him back in the world’s largest MMA promotion soon, once his time has been served.