It looks like fight fans may be in for a longer wait to see Zabit Magomedsharipov face off against Yair Rodriguez than previously reported.
Earlier this week, Lance Pugmire of the LA Times reported that Yair Rodriguez (10-2) would be facing Zabit Magomedsharipov (15-1) at UFC 227 in Los Angeles in what would be a barnburner and practically guaranteed highlight reel for observers, claiming that White confirmed the news himself:
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) May 8, 2018
Zabit’s own manager, Ali Abdelaziz, seemed to be unaware of this information, thus forming a cloud of mystery around the reported bout:
This is news to me… no idea https://t.co/tj3eARvzTG
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) May 8, 2018
With the smoke of the reported fight spreading throughout news outlets yesterday, it seemed only a matter of time before the fire reached the surface. However, in a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Yair Rodriguez seemed to make an effort to put this fire out with his latest tweet:
— Yair Rodriguez (@panteraufc) May 9, 2018
Rodriguez did not specify what it is that is “fake news,” but given the timing of the tweet, it seems fair to deduce that he is referring to this week’s report of his bout with Zabit Magomedsharipov. Zabit and Abdelaziz have both been very vocal about who Zabit wants next, with the Russian rising star even calling Yair Rodriguez out in his post-fight interview at UFC 223. However, Yair did not seem to be in any hurry to make this callout come to fruition:
@zabit_mma “Congrats on a great win Zabit. It would be an honor to fight you one day. We’ll have to meet each other in the Top 10 which I know you’ll make quickly. My next fight coming up, so stay tuned.”
— Yair Rodriguez (@panteraufc) April 8, 2018
In the month since that tweet, the fighters have been placed within two spots of one another in the rankings, with both being hairs outside of the Top 10. It would seem a fight between the two makes sense and that the timing is right, but time will only tell if Yair Rodriguez feels the same way. All fans and Zabit can do in the meantime, is continue to wait.
Is Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov the fight that makes sense for both fighters?