It seems as if the UFC is okay with pumping the breaks on the featherweight division. There's more action watching corn grow in the fields than there is at 145. With an important key matchup between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez now scratched for the second time, things have gone cold. It's not that the UFC didn't look for a quick replacement, but there was none to be had.
Outside of maybe running back his last fight as another main event, against Calvin Kattar. Which is beyond frustrating for the 29-year-old who is the author of a 14 fight win streak. With that Zabit Magomedsharipov is now zeroing in on only fighting those above him in the standings, saying anyone below him is a step backward.
Which is hard to accept, to say the least as Yair sits two slots behind him at 5. Between them is "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, who could have been a very viable adversary. Especially with the 33-year-old South Korean coming off of back-to-back 1st round TKO wins.
Above him is former champion Max Holloway and Brian Ortega. Like Korean Zombie and Kattar, neither of those two have fights lined up yet either. Number 7 Josh Emmett is rehabbing after surgery, Zabit's teammate Frankie Edgar is heading down to bantamweight. Arnold Allen at 10 doesn't have anything lined up as well and he's been red hot, winning 9 in a row.
As a matter of fact, the only fighter in the top 10 with a fight is at number 9, Jeremy Stephens who is in desperate need of a win being on an 0-4 with 1 no contest streak.
What could be in store for Zabit Magomedsharipov?
With Max Holloway wanting a trilogy with Alexander Volkanovski, he could have requested a number one contender fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov. But that didn't happen. So, now it seems that Zabit, according to his Instagram page, is heading home to Russia. And will most likely do as Rodriguez told him to do "sit down and I'll see you in October or November".
That of course will only happen if these two don't turn into Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.Published 10 Aug 2020, 21:11 IST