Zabit Magomedsharipov is healthy again and eyeing a return to the Octagon.
Magomedsharipov has not fought since his ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded appearance at UFC on ESPN+ 21, where he bested Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision. The former No. 3 ranked contender was then plagued by a litany of issues, including fight cancellations and serious health concerns all of which essentially derailed his career for more than two years. The inactivity even led to the Russian being removed from the official featherweight rankings, a move that reportedly left him mulling over early retirement.
However, It appears as though retirement has been staved off for now. Ali Abdelaziz — manager of Magomedsharipov — provided Danny Segura of MMA Junkie with an update on his client. Abdelaziz revealed that his client is training and being tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in anticipation of a possible comeback.
“Zabit is training,” said Abdelaziz. “He is in the USADA program, but he went through some health problems. He’s back training, and I think this is a conversation me and the UFC will have probably next week about Zabit to see what the future holds for him, and we’re going to see what happens. But I believe he’s one of the baddest men in the division. I believe he can be the champion tomorrow. Alexander [Volkanovski] is a great champion, but I think Zabit is on a different level.
“It’s a conversation I need to have with [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby next week, and we’re going to figure out what Zabit wants to do also. It’s not just a UFC problem. Zabit has to be like, ‘Hey, I’m ready to fight this month and this date for this much money.’ And now, I will talk to Sean and we’re going to figure things out.”
Magomedsharipov all but confirmed his intention to fight again. In a recent Instagram post, the 30-year-old shared a video of him training and captioned it with an interesting declaration, “On February 28, I will simply destroy someone!” An event is not scheduled for that date, so perhaps he is hinting at something else.
Magomedsharipov has gone 6-0 under the UFC banner, with wins over Jeremy Stephens, Brandon Davis and Kyle Bochniak among his highlights.