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Report: Yair Rodriguez back in the UFC, agrees to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 228

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In a dramatic turn of events, Yair Rodriguez is now lined up to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 228.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Rodriguez vs Penn Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back, Yair Rodriguez?

Just when it appeared as if Rodriguez’s days in the UFC were done, “Pantera” is now lined up to fight fellow featherweight prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 228 in September, per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Rodriguez had been released from his UFC contract just a couple of weeks ago, with Dana White saying he turned down fights against both Magomedsharipov and Ricardo Lamas. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Rodriguez claimed he accepted fights against both men, but Lamas wound up agreeing to face Mirsad Bektic, and that he wanted more money to face him at UFC 227 in Los Angeles.

At the UFC Liverpool press conference, White had this to say about the Rodriguez situation.

“We offered him fights, he turned down the fights. There was a lot more back and forth that went on with that. If you don’t want to fight, this isn’t the place to be,” White said. “There’s plenty of places out there that will take Yair Rodriguez, and would love to have him, and would sign him, and I’m sure he’ll have a great career. This isn’t the place for you.”

Well I guess this the UFC is the place for Yair once again, as now that Rodriguez-Magomedsharipov matchup is seemingly back on, except for UFC 228 and not 227.

Magomedsharipov (15-1) is 3-0 in the UFC and coming off a thrilling decision win over Kyle Bochniak at UFC 223, and called out Rodriguez in his post-fight interview. Rodriguez (10-2) hasn’t fought since a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar way back in May of last year, but was thought to be one of the rising stars of the sport.