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Zabit says UFC didn’t offer any top 5 replacement for Rodriguez, won’t fight in August

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Zabit Magomedsharipov is off the UFC’s August 29th card entirely after a replacement for Yair Rodriguez couldn’t be organised.

UFC Fight Night 163 mixed martial arts event in Moscow Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Top UFC featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov won’t fight on August 29th after the UFC was unable to find a suitable replacement for Yair Rodriguez.

The pair were first scheduled to fight back in August 2018, but an injury forced Rodriguez out of the fight. Fast forward two years later, and history has repeated itself. Last week, Rodriguez pulled out of their main event fight next month due to a foot injury.

After Zabit’s requests for a title shot against Alexander Volkanovski, or a fight with a worthy opponent were denied, the Russian says he now won’t fight on August 29th entirely.

“Greetings to all!” Zabit wrote on Instagram in Russian. “I want to inform you that my fight on August 29 will not happen. Rodriguez jumped out of the top 5 to replace anyone. Fighting those who are even lower in the rankings is a step back. I asked for either a title fight or a fight with some interesting opponent with a name. There were no offers, so we turn off our camp and return to Russia.

“For the second time in a row [the] UFC breaks off preparation at the final stage,” he finished. “Thanks to everyone who supported and waited for this fight. The team and I did our best.”

Magomedsharipov (18-1) has become one of the best fighters at 145-pounds after winning six straight fights in the UFC. Starting off his current stint in the promotion with consecutive submission victories, the Russian last fought in November 2019 winning a tough fought decision against Calvin Kattar.