"This is a fight that has to happen" - Yair Rodriguez claims he is "dying" to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov

Yair Rodriguez
Yair Rodriguez
Soumik Datta

Yair Rodriguez has sent out a warning to fellow UFC featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov. The Mexican sensation put Zabit on notice by stating that the latter talked a lot of "crap" by claiming that Rodriguez had declined the offer to fight him and was faking injuries.


During his recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, Yair Rodriguez made it clear that he will fight Magomedsharipov at some point, no matter what. 'El Pantera' even added that he's "dying" to fight the Russian.

"Just to be clear, he was talking a lot of crap, saying I didn’t want to fight him, that I was faking injuries and stuff like that. Nobody does that. We’re all here to fight anybody at any point. I’m sure I’ll fight him at some point, no matter what. This is a fight that has to happen. I’m f*****g dying to fight him with all the crap he’s talking about. His moment will come when it has to come.”

Yair Rodriguez's last fight in the UFC was two years ago against Jeremy Stephens. In 2019, Rodriguez stepped into the octagon with Stephens on two different occasions, with the first fight ending via an unfortunate eye poke within the first 15 seconds of the bout.

The rematch eventually occurred a month after Yair and Stephens' first meeting, and El Pantera got his hand raised after a three-round showdown with veteran Stephens. Rodriguez shot to fame after his incredible knockout of 'The Korean Zombie' with one second left on the clock.

When could Yair Rodriguez return to the UFC?

Yair Rodriguez hasn't competed in the UFC in over a year now. However, currently sitting at number three in the UFC featherweight rankings, Rodriguez could make his return to the octagon in 2021 itself.

His arch-rival, Zabit Magomedsharipov, also last fought in November of 2019 when he defeated Calvin Kattar in a three-round fight. Despite being undefeated in the UFC, Zabit was recently removed from the featherweight rankings due to inactivity. With a potential fight and a win over Yair Rodriguez, it could put the Russian right back into the mix with the elite featherweights of the division.

Magomedsharipov has repeatedly called for a title shot and some form of formidable action for a long time now.

Edited by Avinash Tewari
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