Yoshiyuki Yoshida Cut on 36th Birthday, Mulls Move to Lightweight

Yoshiyuki Yoshida has been released following his UFC 113 loss to Mike Guymon, his manager Shu Hirata confirmed to MMA Fighting.

The Tokyo-born fighter got the call about his release on his 36th birthday. Yoshida, who is 11-5 in his career (2-3 in the UFC), will now debate a drop to lightweight as he considers his career options.

"He doesn't know how many years he has left, but he feels young in terms of ring age," Hirata said. "To go back to the UFC is really difficult once you've been cut. Considering his age, it's more difficult. I don't think they like to sign someone new who is older than 35, but he still wants to try. The only way is to beat up someone very noticeable."

Hirata said that Yoshida had surgery for a torn right knee ligament last December and was not 100 percent healed.

"No excuses for the loss, but it does give him another dimension," he said.

Hirata said Yoshida would prefer to fight outside of Japan, preferably either in the U.S. or Europe.

"That decision reflects the current conditions of Japanese MMA now," he said, adding that Yoshida believes he can earn more money elsewhere. (Read more on Hirata's view of Japanese MMA by clicking here.)

With a direction in mind, now the question will be whether Yoshida drops to lightweight or continues on as a welterweight. It is a debate which Yoshida had even before being offered the Guymon fight, and one that will be ongoing in the near future.

"Fifteen pounds is a huge drop, and it's better to drop it slowly," Hirata said. "He felt it was risky to try immediately, so he decided to stick with 170, but now he feels he should consider it."

Yoshida earned wins over Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver and Brandon Wolff in his career and lost matches to Josh Koscheck and Anthony Johnson prior to the Guymon bout.

He was one of at least four fighters cut after UFC 113. Paul Daley was cut following an after-the-bell sucker punch on Koscheck, while Kimbo Slice was also given his walking papers after losing to Matt Mitrione. In addition, MMA Fighting has confirmed the release of Jonathan Goulet after a second-round TKO loss to Marcus Davis.

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