Post-UFC Fight Night 75: On the Chopping Block

Naoyuki KotaniThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in Saitama, Japan last night (September 26, 2015) with UFC Fight Night 75: Barnett vs Nelson. After the fun and surprising night of fights, let’s take a look at which fighters we may no longer see compete inside the Octagon… ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK Katsunori Kikuno Kikuno made his UFC debut in the lightweight division against Strikeforce veteran Quinn Mulhern, winning the bout via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. He took on The Ultimate Fighter season 13 winner Tony Ferguson in his next outing and was knocked out in the very first round of action. The loss prompted his move down to the featherweight division, where he made his debut against TUF: Live veteran Sam Sicilia, winning the bout via second round rear naked choke submission. His luck at 145-pounds unfortunately ran out there, as he has suffered back to back first round knockouts in his next two outings, which came against Brazilian’s Kevin Souza and Diego Brandao, respectively. Brandao stopped him at only 0:28 into the bout, and now having been quickly dispatched in consecutive outings, I think there is a decent chance that the UFC cuts their ties with him. That said, I would not at all be surprised to see him get another crack, which would almost surely come on a fight card based in Asia. Naoyuki Kotani After going 0-2 in his first stint with the UFC, with losses to Thiago Tavares and Dennis Siver, respectively, he posted a 14-3-2 record on the regional circuit and on the heels of a 13-fight winning streak, earned another shot with the promotion. It came against Norman Parke over a year ago, and he lost the bout via second round TKO. He took on Brazilian prospect Yan Cabral in his next outing and was submitting by rear naked choke in the second round of action. On a two-fight skid, he took on TUF: Nations veteran Kajan Johnson at last night’s UFC Fight Night 75 in Japan, where he dropped a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Now having lost three in a row in the UFC and being 0-5 with the promotion overall, I think it’s all but certain that we’ve seen the last of Kotani inside the Octagon.

Written by Gabe Killian

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