UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega says he has not yet signed to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov, but if they do fight he wants it to be for five rounds.
Rumors emerged this week that the UFC was working on adding a potential featherweight firefight between Ortega and Magomedsharipov to UFC 249, the April pay-per-view featuring UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson. If the fight takes place on the card, it would only be for three rounds, so Ortega is presumably asking the UFC for him to headline another card against Magomedsharipov.
UFC president Dana White confirmed with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter this weekend at UFC 247 the promotion is working on Ortega vs. Magomedsharipov but cautioned that the fight is not yet signed. Ortega was a guest fighter at the event this weekend and spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto about the rumored matchup with Magomedsharipov. Here’s what “T-City” said.
Just spoke to Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) backstage. He told me he is aware of the Zabit Magomedsharipov rumors but nothing is signed and he's not sure what's going on. He DOES want to fight Zabit five rounds. Says if Zabit wants to be a champ this year, take a five-rounder.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 9, 2020
“Just spoke to Brian Ortega ( @BrianTcity ) backstage. He told me he is aware of the Zabit Magomedsharipov rumors but nothing is signed and he’s not sure what’s going on. He DOES want to fight Zabit five rounds. Says if Zabit wants to be a champ this year, take a five-rounder.”
The one common criticism towards Magomedsharipov from fans and the media has been that he hasn’t fought a five-round fight in the UFC yet. In his last outing, he had the opportunity to fight Calvin Kattar for five rounds in Russia but said due to the short notice and illness he only wanted to fight for three rounds, drawing the ire of critics. Ortega clearly noticed that Magomedsharipov hasn’t fought a five-round yet and now wants to be the first man to welcome him to the championship rounds inside the Octagon.
Ortega hasn’t fought since losing to former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway back at UFC 231 in December 2018, but he remains one of the top-ranked 145lbers in the sport and would make for an excellent opponent for Magomedsharipov.
Do you think Brian Ortega vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov should be a five-round fight?