Zabit Magomedsharipov is considered a future featherweight champion by many, but currently, the Russian is still working his way up the featherweight rankings, where he is ranked 15th.
Following Magomedsharipov’s win over Brandon Davis at UFC 228, the 27-year-old called out either Chad Mendes or Jose Aldo for a fight. However, Aldo has expressed interest in going up to lightweight, so Mendes seems like the logical option.
In the buildup to Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 136 in Moscow, Russia, Magomedsharipov spoke to the media and has now turned his focus solely on fighting the 33-year-old Mendes.
Why does Magomedsharipov want to fight a wrestler in Mendes so badly? Well it is quite simple.
“He’s not an easy contender, but you’ve got to fight the best to become the best,” Magomedsharipov said to reporters. “I’m taller. He’s very strong, and he has a very good hitting technique, which might be superior to me. But I want to show my best in the fight.”
If Magomedsharipov and Mendes do end up fighting it will be an interesting fight, as for the most part, we have seen Magomedsharipov’s tremendous stand-up game, and only briefly what he can do from the bottom.
If Magomedsharipov was to fight Mendes, the fight would surely end up on the ground somehow as Mendes is arguably the best wrestler in the featherweight division.
With Mendes’ wrestling skills and his experience in the Octagon, there is no doubt it would be Magomedsharipov’s hardest fight in the UFC to date. But like Magomedsharipov said, you’ve got to fight the best to become the best. This fight against Mendes would put Magomedsharipov on a fast-track to a title shot if he comes out victorious.
While the fight makes plenty of sense, Mendes hasn’t commented on it, nor has the UFC, so it remains to be seen if the UFC matchmakers have any interest in making this fight. Magomedsharipov seems to understand this, and is just waiting to see what happens.
“I haven’t gotten any official response so far,” Magomedsharipov said. “I’m just planning to take some rest for now, and me and my managers are going to get this settled very soon.”
Would you watch a Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Chad Mendes fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/16/2018.