UFC president Dana White said that featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov will fight again within the next three months.
The Russian had a nightmarish 2020 as he didn’t fight at all due to a proposed bout with Yair Rodriguez falling through on two occasions. The UFC keeps trying to book this awesome matchup, but it keeps falling apart. The promotion actually tried to book it way back at UFC 228: Woodley vs. Till in September 2018, but Rodriguez withdrew due to injury. The two were re-booked to fight at UFC Vegas in August 2020, but Rodriguez once again withdrew due to injury. The UFC was hoping to match them up for an event this past October, but that fight also fell through.
Rodriguez is currently suspended due to a USADA whereabouts violation and will be on the sidelines for several more months. At this point, it seems like it’s in Magomedsharipov’s best interest to move on. After all, it’s not his fault Rodriguez keeps pulling out of the fight. According to White, the promotion is likely going to go in another direction and give Magomedsharipov another opponent. The UFC head tells fans to expect the Russian to fight in the Octagon in the next three months.
“Yeah, we’re looking at (Magomedsharipov) in the next three months. Get him something,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “I don’t know (about Rodriguez). We might move on from that one.”
If you’re Magomedsharipov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, at this point you probably just want to get your client a fight. After all, the Russian didn’t fight at all in 2020. Waiting for Rodriguez seems risky at this point as he’s a question mark to even make it to the fight. But so far, we haven’t seen much urgency on the part of Team Magomedsharipov to get another opponent, which could indicate he’s waiting for the winner of Saturday’s Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar fight, or just a title shot.
Do you think Dana White should re-book Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez or book them against different opponents?