Zabit Magomedsharipov is riding a high under the UFC banner. Currently undefeated and on a four-fight win streak in the UFC and considered as the next UFC star, he is capitalising on the momentum by trying to steer the UFC brass to his next Octagon outing.
Magomedsharipov, currently 16-1 in MMA, wants to climb the ranks and become UFC featherweight champion and is looking for a step up in competition next. After winning at earlier UFC 228 this month, Magomedsharipov called for a matchup with Team Alpha Male’s standout, Chad Mendes (18-4):
“He’s not an easy contender, but you’ve got to fight the best to become the best.
I’m taller. He’s very strong, and he has a very good hitting technique, which might be superior to me. But I want to show my best in the fight.”
Zabit, 27, was scheduled for a high-profile fight with fellow UFC prospect, Yair Rodriguez at UFC 228. However, Rodriguez was forced to withdraw due to injury and was subsequently replaced by Brandon Davis. Magomedsharipov said he’s still open to a Rodriguez matchup to “put an end to it,” but at this point, Mendes is his priority.
As Zabit floats his challenge into the MMA ethos, the question remains to be answered whether Mendes will take him up on the offer. Personally, the fight would be interesting, but Mendes would not have a lot to gain from the bout and could be a dangerous challenge in a somewhat late stage of his career. A loss here could be detrimental to Mendes’ final run at the UFC featherweight belt.
Do the UFC matchmakers agree? That remains to be seen. Magomedsharipov concluded:
“I haven’t gotten any official response so far. I’m just planning to take some rest for now, and me and my managers are going to get this settled very soon.”
– Brad Dalrymple
Follow me on Twitter @Brad_MMA