One of the more anticipated UFC featherweight contests of 2020 will not happen. Dana White confirmed this evening that Yair Rodriguez (13-2) has injured his ankle and will not headline the August 29th fight night against Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1).
Yair Rodriguez is out of the the Aug. 29 main event versus Zabit Magomedsharipov due to an ankle injury, Dana White confirmed fonight.
Calvin Kattar, via his manager Tyson Chartier, has agreed to step in on short notice. No word yet on what the UFC plans on doing.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 5, 2020
What does the UFC do?
The UFC has tried to make this fight multiple times over the last couple of years. Injuries have continued to get in the way of this fight being a reality.
Zabit and Rodriguez are two of the brighter stars in the UFC‘s lower weight classes. The fight between the two of them was likely to determine who would face Alexander Volkanovksi next for the featherweight title.
As ESPN’s Ariel Helwani suggested, Calvin Kattar has offered to step in to face Zabit in the main event of the August 29th card. Kattar and Zabit do have history.
The two men just fought and headlined a fight night back in November. Zabit won the three round main event, but Kattar was really coming on strong at the end. Many believe that Kattar could have won if it had been a traditional five round main event.
Kattar would make sense from a rankings perspective, but there’s no word on if Zabit would want to fight Kattar back-to-back. There are a couple of additional options for Zabit at 145 pounds.
The UFC has been trying to book Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega for some time now. White has said that the UFC is close to booking that fight. However, maybe the promotion looks to see if one of them would be interested in stepping in to face Zabit.
Another outside the box option could be giving Max Holloway a call to see if he’d take the fight. The former champion could really establish that he should get another shot at Volkanovski if he can beat Zabit.
White said the Rodriguez has a high ankle sprain and a fracture. It’s unlikely, but if he recovers quickly, the UFC could shift gears to move up a main event and move back the Zabit – Rodriguez fight. Many options are on the table and we should expect the UFC to move quickly on this one.