Earlier this week, it was announced that Zabit Magomedsharipov was in need of an opponent, and the third-ranked featherweight contender already has someone in mind.
Magomedsharipov was supposed to face fifth-ranked featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez in the main event of a Fight Night on August 29, however, on Tuesday at the Contender Series, UFC President Dana White announced that Rodriguez had to withdraw from the event due to an ankle injury, leaving Magomedsharipov without an opponent. It’s an unfortunate turn for Magomedsharipov as the bout was viewed by many, including the current featherweight champion Alexander Volkaovski, as a possible title eliminator. But for Magomedsharipov, with Rodriguez now out, he’s ready to jump straight to a title shot instead.
Taking to social media yesterday, Magomedsharipov responded to Rodriguez’s withdrawal and then called out the featherweight champion.
“It’s funny I signed bout agreement few weeks ago, Yair never did, UFC never announced officially main event.
“Two options: 1. UFC playing games 2. Yair has no balls
“Alexander Volkanovski I’m waiting for you.”
It did not take Volkanovski long to shut Magomedsharipov down, telling Zabit to get a win and then he’d face him at the end of the year.
“My next fight was supposed to be title eliminator and I won without fighting. Next is a title shot. Alexander Volkanovski, I know you’re great champion and you’re tired of fighting Max. Let’s try new blood. I promise to make it unforgettable. Let’s give fans what they want, if you need a little time September or October fine with me. Dana White, Sean Shelby, UFC, I AM NEXT!”
Volkanoski did not respond to Magomedsharipov’s amended callout and unfortunately for both men, it may not matter anyway. Dana White has already stated a willingness to book Volkanovski-Holloway III next, and another top-ranked featherweight contender is chomping at the bit to step in against Magomedsharipov: sixth-ranked Calvin Kattar. Kattar’s coach responded to Sharipov’s statements about Rodriguez and called for a rematch.
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My next fight was supposed to be title eliminator and I won without fighting. Next is a title shot. @alexvolkanovski I know you’re great champion and you’re tired of fighting Max. Let’s try new blood. I promise to make it unforgettable. Let’s give fans what they want, if you need a little time September or October fine with me. @danawhite @seanshelby @ufc I AM NEXT! @aliabdelaziz000 @rizvan_magomedov #отмечаем#Дану#Вайта