When Yair Rodriguez announced he was pulling out of his headlining fight on August 29th with Zabit Magomedsharipov due to an injury, ‘ZaBeast’ indicated that he was still hunting for a new opponent to remain on the card, but it seems that is no longer the case.
“As-salamu ‘alaykum greetings to all!” Magomedsharipov wrote on Instagram (translated from Russian). “I want to inform you that my fight on August 29 will not be. Rodriguez jumped out of the top 5 to replace anyone. Fighting those who are even lower in the rankings is a step back. I asked for either a belt fight or a fight with some interesting opponent with a name. There were no offers, so we turn off our camp and return to Russia.
“For the second time in a row @UFC breaks off preparation at the final stage. Thanks to everyone who supported and waited for this fight. The team and I did our best.”
Magomedsharipov had initially called out current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski to go up against him, but the beltholder quickly shut him down by stating that he is the one who calls the shots and as such wouldn’t be stepping in to take a short-notice fight.
Still, Volkanovski didn’t rule out the possibility of fighting him later in the year, and Rodriguez expects to be able to compete again by the end of 2020 too, so it may be that the Russian ace will remain on the sidelines until then.