Today one of the best featherweights in the UFC announced his retirement after two and a half years away from the octagon. MMA Fighting reported earlier this afternoon that Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1) informed the UFC that he was retiring officially from mixed martial arts.
The news comes on the heels of lots of speculation regarding Magomedsharipov’s fighting future. Zabit last fought in November of 2019 when he defeated Calvin Kattar in a short-notice main event.
Many were pegging him to be a future UFC champion. A native of Dagestan, Magomedsharipov had a unique skillset and frame that made him a very dangerous contender. He had sharp and creative striking while also possessing really solid grappling skills.
In 2020, the UFC had booked Zabit against Yair Rodriguez. This is a fight that they had tried to book multiple times. However, a month or so before the fight, Yair Rodriguez injured his ankle and the fight was called off.
A UFC “What If”
Since then, Zabit has been out of the spotlight. There have been some whispers regarding some health issues outside the octagon and recently it was said that he was taking up his medical practice outside of competition.
Zabit made his UFC debut in 2017 and over the course of two years, he went 6-0. He had really solid wins over Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar. He looked the part of a future champion, but with time away and health concerns, the fire of competition went away.
Zabit Magomedsharipov is going to go down in UFC history as a great “What if”. What if he stayed active and stayed healthy? What if he didn’t retire at the age of 31? So many questions will go unanswered now that Magomedsharipov is walking away from the UFC.
Nevertheless, Zabit was fun to watch in his time with the promotion and he will be missed in the featherweight division.