A few weeks ago, UFC featherweight superstar who was probably considered as a future champ in Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodriguez was released from the organization with immediate effect. According to Dana White, the decision to release Rodriguez was a result of him turning down fights against prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov and veteran Ricardo Lamas, despite being inactive for a year.
What made this decision surprising was Rodriguez’s potential. Rodriguez was on an a six-fight winning streak before getting stopped by former lightweight champion and featherweight title challenger Frankie ‘the Answer’ Edgar at UFC 211 back in May 2017. Hence the MMA community were dejected by the amount of potential being wasted.
However, UFC seems to have recognized this. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC has renegotiated their terms with Rodriguez and also rescheduled his fight with Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 228 in September. (via Twitter):
BREAKING: The Yair Rodriguez/UFC situation has apparently done a 180. Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov is now verbally agreed to for UFC 228 in September.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) June 1, 2018
Just like Rodriguez, Magomedsharipov is known for his highflying creative style as well which made a fight between them pretty inevitable. Bellator President Scott Coker looked interested in Rodriguez as he was the hot favourite among the list of free agents, however with him back in the UFC would be a sigh of relief for the fans.