Brian Ortega’s return to the UFC octagon is close to being finalised for UFC 240, with him set to take on the highly-touted Zabit Magomedsharipov.
On a day in which we learned of the scintillating lightweight showdown between Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone, it was going to be hard for the UFC to top it with another fight-announcement.
And sure, for many reasons, that pivotal 155lb clash will be a phenomenal showcase in terms of name-value and the almighty stakes, but for those in the know, this featherweight title-eliminator is just as good.
In some ways, it may even be better.
According to reports coming from FloCombat, the UFC are planning on making this fight a reality this summer.
The future of the featherweight division may lie in the hands of one of these two men – especially given the fact that the champion, Max Holloway, will likely leave 145lbs behind after a string of harrowing weight-cut.
Brian Ortega learned all too well exactly how good a fighter Max was at UFC 231, though, succumbing to a brutal barrage that led to a doctor’s stoppage at the close of the fifth round.
It was the type of beating that often changes a fighter but thankfully, we are seeing him in action once again – this time at UFC 240 on July 27 in a yet-to-be-finalised location.
On the other hand, Zabit Magomedsharipov may well be the most hotly-tipped fighter in the sport today.
A supremely talented technician who boasts dynamic, creative striking on the feet, impeccable wrestling and overall grappling and the type of physical gifts that set him apart from a pack.
Zabit has proven himself to be a very unique fighter – one who can go from looking like Anthony Pettis throwing kicks, to clasping up rarely-seen Suloev stretch submissions in an instance.
This is a high-level featherweight clash, folks, and while the excitement behind Ferguson vs. Cerrone is warranted, there’s every reason to think that this is the superior clash.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena