An exciting bout between two surging featherweights is in works as #13 ranked Zabit Magomedsharipov (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is slated to fight #11 ranked Yair ‘Al Pantera’ Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) at UFC 227 in Los Angeles, California on August 4, 2018.
This fight undoubtedly remarks the new breed of the UFC. Both of these fighters being extremely creative and explosive, this fight is definitely a paradise for the MMA community. The fight was much anticipated as Magomedsharipov called for it after his second fight in the promotion vs Sheymon Moraes back in November 2017. The fight has however started being materialized after Magomedsharipov’s impressive win vs fellow featherweight Kyle Bochniak at UFC 223 in March where he called out Rodriguez. (via Twitter):
UFC wants to book Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez on Aug. 4 in LA, however, Rodriguez wants to fight earlier, I’m told. If that fight doesn’t eventually come to fruition current plan is still to feature Zabit at Staples Center next.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 27, 2018
Zabit Magomedsharipov made his debut at Fight Night Rotterdam back in September 2017 against Dana White’s Tuesday night contender series prospect Mike Santiago. In the first round itself, Zabit made it evident that he possessed both the skill and entertainment factor as he started throwing a lot of spinning kicks and also pulled off a ‘Showtime’ kick, named after former UFC lightweight champion Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis when he used that kick drop Benson Henderson back in the WEC. Magomedsharipov won the fight via second round submission. He is now 3-0 with the UFC.
Similarly on the other hand, Yair Rodriguez looked unstoppable piling six-fight winning streak, with the latest of his victims being former two-weight class UFC champion BJ Penn back in January 2017. He won that fight via TKO with a front kick in the second round. Rodriguez was then booked against former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 211 in May 2017. This was a big step up for then 24 year old and it rightly proved so as Edgar dominated Rodriguez. Rodriguez a black belt in Teakwondo had problems with the wrestling base of Edgar, as Edgar continued ground and pound on Rodriguez before the doctor stopped the fight due to swelling on left eye.
A source said that if a fight does not materialize, Magomedsharipov would still be on the card. Interesting as UFC is making it’s first visit ever to Russia in September and Magomedsharipov was expected to fight there as well.
UFC 227 features an epic rematch as the UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw takes on former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt for the bantamweight title.