Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez may be on a collision course.
Magomedsharipov and Kyle Bochniak went to war at UFC 223 earlier this month. Magomedsharipov earned a unanimous decision and “Fight of the Night” honors. After the bout, Magomedsharipov called out Rodriguez.
When it comes to rankings, the bout makes sense. Magomedsharipov sits at number 13 in the official UFC featherweight rankings. Meanwhile, Rodriguez sits at the 11th spot. “El Pantera” hasn’t competed since being pummeled by Frankie Edgar back in May 2017.
It looks like the UFC agrees with Magomedsharipov’s desire to fight Rodriguez. Magomedsharipov claims that the promotion offered him a bout with “El Pantera” at UFC Russia in September (via RT Sports’ Denis Geyko):
.@Zabit_MMA says he's been offered a fight with Yair Rodriguez (@panterauf) at #UFCRussia in September, and is now waiting for his opponent to accept the bout. Interview coming soon… pic.twitter.com/xfTPvW0XuZ
— Denis Geyko (@DenisGeykoRT) April 25, 2018
The Russian is riding an 11-fight winning streak. In that span, he’s finished nine of his opponents. Five of those finishes were via submission. Magomedsharipov’s bout with Bochniak marked the first time he went to a decision since Nov. 2013.
Rodriguez has gone 8-1 in his last nine outings. He’s beaten the likes of B.J. Penn, Alex Caceres, Andre Fili, and Dan Hooker. In “El Pantera’s” two losses, he has been knocked out.
A lot has been made over the UFC’s trip to Russia. UFC president Dana White has made it clear that Russia is in the cards. With that said, he revealed at the UFC 223 post-fight press conference that the first event in Russia may be without Khabib Nurmagomedov on the card. For future events, Nurmagomedov would be a likely choice to headline.
Adding someone like Magomedsharipov would certainly soften the blow of not having “The Eagle” compete. There are a slew of other Russian fighters that can be added to the card as well. Stick with MMANews.com for more information on UFC Russia.
Do you think Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez should be booked for UFC Russia?