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'With the best featherweight in the world' - Khabib Nurmagomedov gives his backing to rising UFC star

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov
Johny Payne
Modified 06 Apr 2021

Khabib Nurmagomedov has given his backing to a rising UFC star. Nurmagomedov has suggested that his fellow Dagestani MMA stalwart, Zabit Magomedsharipov, is the best featherweight in the world.

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov took to his official Twitter account and tweeted out a photograph of himself with Zabit Magomedsharipov.

A blossoming contender in the UFC featherweight division, Zabit Magomedsharipov is aiming to bring a UFC world title to his native Dagestan, Russia, akin to compatriot Khabib Nurmagomedov. Fans can check out Nurmagomedov’s tweet below. The Eagle also put forth a similar post on Instagram:

The statement attached to the tweet put forth by Khabib Nurmagomedov read as follows:

“With best Featherweight in the World @zabeast_mma”

Presently, the UFC featherweight division is ruled by Alexander Volkanovski who’s held the UFC featherweight title since December 2019. Meanwhile, the No. 1 ranked UFC featherweight contender is the former divisional champion, the man whom Volkanovski won the title from and successfully defended it against, Max Holloway.

No. 2 in the rankings is Brian Ortega. Zabit Magomedsharipov is ranked No. 3 in the UFC featherweight division, whereas Yair Rodriguez is ranked No. 4. Holding the No. 5 rank in the UFC featherweight division is The Korean Zombie aka Chan Sung Jung.

ZaBeast aka Zabit Magomedsharipov’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Night: Magomedsharipov vs. Kattar in November 2019. Magomedsharipov is yet to fight since his big win over Kattar.

Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the sport of MMA, whereas Zabit Magomedsharipov continues his quest for UFC gold

Zabit Magomedsharipov
Zabit Magomedsharipov

The legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA in October 2020. In March 2021, Khabib Nurmagomedov and the UFC came to terms with his departure from the sport and with him vacating the UFC lightweight title.

On the other hand, Zabit Magomedsharipov continues his quest for UFC gold. The talented Russian fighter, who’s regarded by many as a potential future UFC featherweight champion, was expected to return to the octagon last year against Yair Rodriguez.

Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez were initially supposed to fight at UFC 228 in September 2018, but Rodriguez withdrew from the fight due to injury issues. Their fight was rebooked to take place at UFC Fight Night 175 in August 2020. However, Rodriguez withdrew from the fight yet again owing to injury issues.

Following this, there was speculation that Zabit Magomedsharipov would be facing Yair Rodriguez at UFC 254 in October 2020. This fight wasn’t officially announced, and it didn’t come to fruition at UFC 254.


The consensus in the MMA world is that Zabit Magomedsharipov could face Yair Rodriguez, Max Holloway, or another top-five opponent in his next fight.

Published 06 Apr 2021, 04:08 IST
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