Streaking featherweight talent, Zabit Magomedsharipov failed to feature a single time under the UFC’s banner last year, joining a long list of contenders who disappointedly failed to make the Octagon walk, however, it wasn’t for the want of trying. 

Paired with fellow 145-pound contender, Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodriguez for two separate events in 2020, the highly-anticipated matchup of the two failed to materialise on both occasions. Slated to headline UFC Vegas 8 in August, Rodriguez was forced out of the pairing due to a niggling ankle injury.

Tentatively targeted for an October rescheduling, the bout also failed to hit the cards with Rodriguez slapped with a whereabouts violation suspension by anti-doping agency, USADA, sidelining him for multiple violations in a year’s period

With the Chihuahua native yet to complete his retroactive suspension, it seems it would be wise for Dagestan all-rounder, Zabit to switch his attention to another opponent, in search of his first Octagon appearance since August of 2019. 

Extending his undefeated streak to fourteen wins, six of which have come under the UFC’s banner, former ACB featherweight best, Zabit, headlined UFC Fight Night Moscow in a short-notice three-round main event against upcoming UFC on ABC 1 main event feature, Calvin Kattar — earning a contentious unanimous decision win. 

Retaining his #3 rank behind Brian Ortega, and former champion, Max Holloway, Zabit, according to UFC president, Dana White is likely to return to action in the opening quarter of this year.

Yeah, we’re looking at (Zabit Magomedsharipov) in the next three months,” White said in a recent interview with ESPN MMA reporter, Brett OkamotoI don’t know [about rebooking a fight with Yair Rodriguez]. We might move on from that one [fight].” (H/T

A six-fight Octagon veteran, Zabit has managed three submission wins during his promotional stint so far, besting Mike Santiago, Sheymon Moraes, and with a particularly innovate Suloev stretch, stopped Brandon Davis at UFC 228 in September of 2018. 

In a trio of decision victories, Zabit battled to a Fight of the Year candidate against Kyle Bochniak, before his judging win over heavy hitter, Jeremy ‘Lil’ Heathen’ Stephens and the above mentioned, Kattar. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.