Despite his untimely retirement from mixed martial arts competition, former featherweight contender, Zabit Magomedsharipov has been backed to pose a significant threat to current division champion, Alexander Volkanovski, by his compatriot and current lightweight kingpin, Islam Makhachev.
Magomedsharipov, who last competed back in November 2019, managed to move to 19-1 as a professional, landing a close, debated unanimous decision win over Calvin Kattar in a UFC Fight Night Moscow headliner over the course of three rounds.
In April 2021, Zabit Magomedsharipov was removed from the official UFC rankings due to inactivity, with the then-number-three ranked contender suffering from immune system health issues, forcing his sidelining.
In the summer of the following year, the Russian notified the promotion of his decision to retire from professional mixed martial arts competition with immediate effect, closing the curtain on a career which has been largely described as a ‘what could have been’ tenure in the sport.
Zabit Magomedsharipov was once tipped as a future titleholder in the UFC
Once touted as a future title challenger during his time with the organization, Magomedsharipov has been backed to pose a serious threat to the title reign of Volkanovski by his compatriot, Makhachev, despite his retirement from combat sports.
“I think it would be a very competitive fight,” Islam Makhachev told YukaHero regarding a fight between Alexander Volkanovski, and Zabit Magomedsharipov. “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.” (Transcribed by MMA News)
Magomedsharipov, a former ACB featherweight champion, joined the UFC back in 2017, boasting an unbeaten run of wins over Mike Santiago, Sheymon Moraes, Kyle Bockniak, Brandon Davis, Jeremy Stephens, and the aforenoted, Kattar before his eventual retirement.
As for Volkanovski, the New South Wales favorite is booked to headline UFC 290 next month during International Fight Week, as he takes on Yair Rodríguez in the pair’s featherweight championship unification clash.