From title contender to pink slip, Yasuhiro Urushitani’s fall from grace with the world’s most prominent promotion was complete as of Friday. Eight other fighters, Chad Griggs, Nick Penner, Marcus LeVesseur, John Cofer, Joey Gambino, Jeff Hougland, Jared Papazian, and Henry Martinez joined the Japanese fighter in the unemployment pool.
Urushitani was signed by the promotion as one of four members of the inaugural flyweight tournament. Following a highlight reel loss to Joseph Benavidez, Urushitani was given a chance at redemption against John Linekar at UFC in Macao, but came up on the short end of a decision. The loss prompted the promotion to release the fighter.
Prior to the UFC, Urushitani was a decorated member of the Shooto promotion, leaving the promotion as their bantamweight champion to join the UFC. He had never seen the level of competition that he saw with the UFC, which likely led to management seeing him as having a dim future with the promotion. While he was clearly one of Japan’s finest lighter weight fighters, he cut very little weight and was extremely undersized in the United States.
In all likelihood, Urushitani will end up back with Shooto. It would also be no surprise if he ended up with OneFC on a card in the future.