Reports overnight have claimed that former featherweight maestro, Zabit Magomedsharipov, had rejected an immediate title challenge in the weight class if he were to make a speculated return to the UFC.
Magomedsharipov, a former top-featherweight contender who boasts an undefeated record under the banner of the UFC, has yet to return to combat sports since headlining a UFC Fight Night Moscow card back in 2018.
Improving to 18-1 as a professional over the course of the three round main event slot, Zabit Magomedsharipov landed a close, unanimous decision win over Calvin Kattar on home soil, turning in his sixth consecutive victory under the Dana White-led banner.
Zabit Magomedsharipov was often backed to land UFC gold
And in June of last year, amid his continued hiatus, Zabit Magomedsharipov informed the UFC of his intention to retire from mixed martial arts with immediate effect, with reports confirming how the Dagestan native would be turning his attention to medical studies.
However, overnight, reports claimed that Magomedsharipov – who appeared on the URF Media podcast, had been offered an immediate title shot to make a return to the UFC if he ever considered a comeback, however, he rejected the opportunity.
One of the most highly-touted contenders to ever compete in the UFC without fighting for championship gold, Magomedsharipov, a fomrer ACB featherweight champion, landed in the Octagon back in September 2017 at an event in the Netherlands.
Debuting with a pair of consecutive submissions wins over Mike Santiago, and Sheymon Moraes, Magomedsharipov then turned in a back-and-forth decision win over Kyle Bochniak, before submitting Brandon Davis and securing consecutive decision wins over both Jeremy Stephens, and the aforenoted, Kattar in his final Octagon outing.
Earlier this month, lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev shared his thoughts on a potential featherweight title fight between titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski, and the aforenoted, Magomedsharipov – claiming the latter would hand the Australian a really tough fight.
“I think it would be a very competitive fight,” Islam Makhachev said. “I can’t give preference to someone. Zabit is very dangerous in the first two rounds. He can finish anyone. Zabit not only knows how to [strike], but he knows how to choke and wrestle well.”