Former UFC featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov could return to the octagon after all.
The Russian has been out of action since a November 2019 decision victory over Calvin Kattar. The victory was the biggest of Magomedsharipov’s career to that point and moved him to 18-1 as a professional. Sadly, that was his last time competing in the octagon.
Following that victory over ‘The Boston Finisher’, the Russian struggled with several injuries. A scheduled matchup with Yair Rodriguez fell to the wayside, as Magomedsharipov was struggling with health issues. Furthermore, he was removed from the rankings in April 2021.
With the exception of coach Mark Henry stating that his pupil was looking to return in 2022, there was radio silence as to when Zabit Magomedsharipov could re-enter the cage. In June 2022, the featherweight contender announced that he was retiring from MMA.
While many assumed that the Russian had retired due to health issues, that wasn’t the case. Following his announcement, Magomedsharipov revealed that his retirement was due to issues with the UFC, not health. While it was disappointing to see him retire, the door seemed open for a return down the line.
On Instagram, Zabit Magomedsharipov seemed to indicate that he could indeed return to the octagon. The former featherweight contender attached a caption reading, “Contracts are no longer the same, of course.”
In the comment section of the post, Magomedsharipov’s brother, Khasan also seemed to indicate that the former featherweight contender would return.
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The possible addition of the Russian to the featherweight division is incredibly exciting. Currently, the reigning 145-pound champion Alexander Volkanovski is slated to face lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev in February.
Furthermore, an interim featherweight champion will be crowned on the undercard of the UFC 284 superfight. Contenders Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett are set to clash in the co-main event of the Perth event.
What do you make of this news? Do you want to see the return? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!