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Yamato Nishikawa removed from UFC 280 lineup, dropped from the roster; Randy Costa also released by UFC

UFC 269: Costa v Kelley
Randy Costa
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The UFC has removed two more fighters from the roster including one athlete who was originally scheduled to appear at UFC 280 on Saturday.

Yamato Nishikawa and Randy Costa are the latest fighters to be removed from the UFC roster, per UFC officials who confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Thursday.

Nishikawa’s release comes just days after his scheduled fight against Magomed Mustafaev was cancelled and removed from the UFC 280 card happening in Abu Dhabi.

There’s no word why Nishikawa was released, although reports surfaced that the veteran SHOOTO competitor was still under contract to another promotion and that’s why he was removed from the card.

That means Mustafaev, who holds an impressive win over Rafael Fiziev, will have to wait until a later date to make his return to action.

As for Costa, the 28-year-old fighter from Massachusetts leaves the UFC after going 2-4 in six fights with the promotion. Costa most recently suffered through a three-fight losing streak capped off by a submission defeat at the hands of Guido Cannetti at UFC Vegas 61.

Costa joined the UFC roster with just four fights on his resume but he struggled against higher level competition with additional losses coming to Tony Kelley, Adrian Yanez and Brandon Davis.

It should also be noted two more fighters — Bobby Green and Ilir Latifi — were marked as removed from the active roster by the UFC Roster Watch Twitter account, which automatically reports when any athlete is pulled from the rankings pool provided by the promotion.

In this case, both Green and Latifi remain on the UFC roster and have not been released.

Green is currently serving a six-month suspension for a violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy, which is why he’s not listed as active. The same can be said for Latifi, who is temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after he announced that he competed with a highly contagious staph infection in his most recent win over Aleksei Oleinik.

Latifi remains suspended until his full punishment is decided by the commission and that explains why he’s not considered active on the UFC roster currently.

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