Journalist Ariel Helwani has discussed what he’s heard about UFC featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov’s ongoing absence from the Octagon.
Zabit had a successful professional debut in 2020, picking up bonuses for both his performance and td opponents. He entered the year ranked third among 145 pound fighters with six consecutive wins already under his belt including two top five contenders at strawweight before challenging Calvin Kattar on MMA’s biggest stage in the past.
The Real Story of Why Zabit Missed the Match?
It has been two-and-a half years since Zabit last fought, but his fans are still waiting for updates on the 31 year old’s status. After an attempt to book him against Yair Rodriguez in August 2020 fell through and talk of a return went dark; he was taken out rankings last April without any official explanation as well which has lead many people including myself wondering what happened?
Volkanovski was on the show to promote his upcoming title defense against Jose Aldo, but he also mentioned one of MMA’s biggest what-ifs.
“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.
“His brother fights, and he corners his brother, which I think is really interesting, but obviously everybody’s different. But that’s what I heard. He just reached a point where he was like, ‘No, this is’t for me.’ He might go down as one of the biggest what-ifs in UFC history because it looked like the ceiling was so high,” concluded Helwani.
Interestingly, Coach Mark Henry appeared to announce the comeback of “Za-Beast” last September in an Instagram post. However, since then, there’s been little update on any impending return.
Should the Dagestani get over whatever issues or debates that are keeping him outside the cage and return to UFC action, he’ll be jumping into the mix of a stacked featherweight division.