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Volkanovski responds to Zabit’s callout: ‘I’m the champ’, not a replacement fighter

UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski responds to Zabit Magomedsharipov’s callout.

Alex Volkanovski Media Opportunity Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

The UFC is desperately scrambling to find a replacement for Zabit Magomedsharipov after Yair Rodriguez pulled out of their headlining featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 176 earlier this week due to injury.

The UFC has kept quiet on a replacement but Magomedsharipov, who is considered by many pundits to be the future of the featherweight division, wasted no time in calling out reigning champ Alexander Volkanovski on Twitter.

“@alexvolkanovski I’m waiting for you,” Zabit posted on Wednesday.

Volkanovski respects Magomedsharipov but says the Dagestani needs to understand that the champ is not a replacement fighter.

“I am the champ not the replacement fighter but I hope you find a matchup ASAP then chances are I see you later this year,” Volkanovski responded.

Volkanovski earned another decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 251 to retain his featherweight title, but UFC president Dana White would like to run things back in a trilogy bout.

Magomedsharipov, 29, is on a massive fourteen-fight win streak and currently ranked #3 at featherweight.

UFC Fight Night 176 is currently without a main event but still tentatively scheduled to take place on Aug. 29 at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.