Dana White is ready to put the idea of a Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez bout behind him as the UFC heads into 2021.
Just as the prospect of a Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight has all but officially died for good, it looks like another fight that has been highly anticipated for years through numerous cancellations is also running out of time. The pairing of Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez has been made and canceled on three separate occasions now. Most recently, the two were scheduled to fight one another in August, but Rodriguez had to pull out due to sustaining an ankle injury.
There was hope that the fight could be rebooked for later in the year, but it would never come to pass. Then, it was revealed over a week ago that Rodriguez is serving a USADA suspension for six months following a whereabouts violation. Unlike Khabib vs. Ferguson, Dana White thinks this isn’t a matter of a fight having bad luck, because there is the same common denominator every time the fight falls apart: Yair Rodriguez.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t say there’s been a rocky road between us. The kid’s been very flaky,” White said of Rodriguez in a recent TSN interview. “We’ve had issues with him, and now here we are, he gets his whereabouts (violation). I don’t even know what to tell you.”
The first time the promotion attempted to book this fight, Yair’s decision to decline the fight resulted in his release from the promotion. Dana White was very harsh at the time towards Rodriguez, but the Rodriguez camp and the UFC were ultimately able to work things out, and the Mexican star has had three fights since then, none of which being against Zabit Magomedsharipov. Rodriguez will be eligible to return from the USADA suspension in March, but Dana White is not interested in waiting that long to get Zabit back active again.
“Yeah, it would be a good idea to move on,” White said about the Zabit/Rodriguez pairing.
Do you agree with Dana White’s decision to move on from a Zabit/Yair fight, with Yair Rodriguez eligible to return to action in March?