Featherweight star Zabit Magomedsharipov has retired from the UFC, adding further mystery to his odd disappearance from the sport over the last three years.
On Wednesday, TMZ Sports broke the news that the talented Russian fighter had informed the UFC he was officially retiring from the sport at just 31 years old. However, the reason for his surprise departure from cage fighting is unclear and only adds more mystery to a career that had so much potential and came to a confusing end.
When Magomedsharipov scored a hard-fought win over Calvin Kattar in November of 2019, he moved his record to 6-0 in the Octagon and secured a 14th straight victory overall. He was viewed as one of the best young 145-pound fighters in the sport and seemed primed for a championship opportunity the following year.
Zabit Magomedsharipov retires as one of the great ‘what if- fighters in UFC history
However, fight fans would never see the talented native of Dagestan return to the Octagon. After the promotion was sidelined for a short time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Magomedsharipov was eventually booked in a highly anticipated August fight against Yair Rodriguez. Unfortunately, the Mexican star suffered an injury and the bout was scrapped and never rescheduled.
- Zabit Magomedsharipov record: 18-1 (6 knockouts, 7 submissions)
Following the failed booking in that summer, Magomedsharipov seemingly disappeared as fans openly wondered over the last two years when he might return. Still to this day, it is unclear why he stayed away from the UFC, aside from rumors of possible health issues, a lack of interest in competing, and a possible change in career.
In the end, he will be viewed as a curious and gifted fighter who had the potential to be a UFC champion and is now one of the great “what-if” talents in promotion history.
Zabit Magomedsharipov finishes his career with an 18-1 record, having won a title in the top Russian MMA organization ACB, and scoring notable wins over Kattar and Jeremy Stephens.