Zabit Magomedsharipov has released his first statement regarding his retirement from MMA.
MMA Fighting was the first to report the news of Zabit’s retirement on Wednesday afternoon.
The once highly-touted featherweight had not been in action since November 2019, when he headlined a Moscow-held UFC Fight Night card against current top-five contender Calvin Kattar. After emerging victorious, and extending his professional record to 18-1 and his active win streak to 14, Zabit was being tipped for greatness.
As of today, he’s been absent from the cage for over two years, leading to him losing his #3 spot in the 145-pound rankings.
The 31-year-old has long been regarded as the biggest ‘what-if’ in mixed martial arts, and it appears that branding will remain.
Thursday morning, Zabit issued the following statement on Instagram regarding his retirement:
Assalamu alaikum friends! I know that many of you were waiting for my return, there was not a single day that someone did not ask when is my next fight was. But I decided to end my pro sports career.
Disruptions of fights, and then health problems – all this did not allow me to perform/fight earlier. I have recovered now, but I don’t feel the way I used to.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me for such a long time. I didn’t have time to become a champion, but I think, even without this, I hope I was able to please/entertain you))
I cease to be an active athlete, but I do not leave the sport. I have something and with whom to share my knowledge.
So don’t say goodbye, friends!”
Zabit Trades The Hurt Game For The Healing Game
Earlier this year, the Dagestani took to Instagram, posting an image of himself working on a laptop at a Doctors of the World facility, an organization that describes itself as “an independent humanitarian movement working at home and abroad to empower excluded people to access healthcare.”
Translated from Russian, the caption to Zabit’s post reads, “A new name will soon appear in the medical world of Makhachkala.”
News of Zabit’s pursuit of success outside of the fight game comes just weeks after renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani revealed a potential reason for the Dagestani’s decision to distance himself from the cage.
While it’s previously been reported that a health issue related to his immune system has kept Zabit on the sidelines, Helwani revealed a different reason he’d been told in relation to the former Absolute Championship Berkut featherweight titleholder’s inactivity during an edition of The MMA Hour earlier this month.
“The biggest what-if of them all, maybe the greatest what-ifs in UFC history is Zabit… He just disappeared. I’ve asked around… I don’t know if he is (coming back),” said Helwani. “From what I was told, he had like, almost like this moral religious dilemma that he was dealing with. He’s very religious, and I think he reached a point where he just didn’t wanna do it anymore.”.
What do you make of Zabit Magomedsharipov’s decision to retire in pursuit of a career in medicine?