Zabit Magomedsharipov was one of the most promising additions to the UFC roster in 2017.
The Dagestani featherweight arrived in the promotion with a fearsome reputation and he has backed it up with two straight submission wins inside the octagon. In September, Magomedsharipov acquired the tap from Mike Santiago with a second-round rear-naked choke before squeezing Sheymon Moraes into submission with an anaconda choke in the third round of their November scrap at UFC Shanghai.
Magomedsharipov’s problem, though, is that he might have looked too impressive.
According to the 26-year-old, he has really struggled to find an opponent for the first bout of his 2018 campaign. In a tweet that he sent out on Tuesday, Magomedsharipov stated that he is hoping to land on the UFC 223 card in Brooklyn on April 7th, but he added that a host of noted 145-pounders have turned down the opportunity to fight him at the New York borough’s beautiful Barclay’s Center.
“I only had 2 fights in [UFC] and I had 5 opponents turn me down for April 7th including [Myles Jury], [Arnold Allen], [Yair Rodriguez], [Andre Fili],” wrote Magomedsharipov. “The only guy who [sic] accept is [Artem Lobov] but his team decline. No disrespect to none I just want to fight. Please call [UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby].”
I only had 2 fights in @ufc and I had 5 opponents turn me down for April 7th including @FuryJury @Arnoldbfa @panteraufc @TouchyFili the only guy who accept is @RusHammerMMA but his team decline. No disrespect to none I just want to fight. Please Call @seanshelby @arielhelwani
— Zabit Magomedsharipov (@zabeast_mma) February 12, 2018
Of the five fighters that Magomedsharipov mentioned by Twitter handle, Yair Rodriguez has the highest rating. The Mexican is tenth in the UFC’s official featherweight rankings but he hasn’t fought since Frankie Edgar thoroughly mauled him and finished him via TKO in the second round at UFC 211 back in May of last year.
Myles Jury is currently ranked at 14 after winning two straight. His most recent victory came via decision over Rick Glenn at UFC 219 in the embers of 2017.
England’s Arnold Allen is 3-0 in the UFC, 12-1 overall, and he holds a win over the highly-touted Makwan Amirkhani. He has, however, been painfully inactive. He made his promotional debut in June of 2015, didn’t fight again until February of the following year, was subsequently forced to pull out of a September 2016 bout through injury, beat Amirkhani last March, and hasn’t fought since.
Andre Fili has won two straight and three of his last four. His most recent win came via split decision over Dennis Bermudez in late January at UFC on Fox 27.
Artem Lobov is currently riding a two-fight skid, with his most recent loss coming via decision to Fili last October. He recently told TheMacLife that he has signed a contract to fight at UFC 223. Though he did not reveal the identity of his opponent, he will obviously not be competing against Magomedsharipov.
At 6’1 with a 73-inch reach, Magomedsharipov is a tall, rangy, featherweight who has both dangerous striking and submissions. Six of his fourteen career wins have come via KO/TKO, while another six have come via submission. He is a tough proposition for just about anyone in the featherweight division.
UFC 223 is, of course, headlined by a mouth-watering scrap between interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and Magomedsharipov’s fellow Dagestani Khabib Nurmagomedov.