Khabib Nurmagomedov lauds fellow Russian fighter Zabit Magomedsharipov as the best featherweight in the world in a recent photo shared on Instagram. The former lightweight champion was spotted with the #3 featherweight in the world ahead of Zabit’s potential return to the UFC in the near future.
Zabit was scheduled to take on Yair Rodrigues, however, the match-up hasn’t seen the light of the day. With Yair out of active competition due to suspension for failing a drug test, it will be interesting to see what lies ahead for the Russian fighter.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been showing his social side after bidding goodbye to mixed martial arts and has been spotted with various mixed martial artists recently. He is donning the hat of a coach really well and is set to work with Luke Rockhold in his UFC return.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 5, 2021
Zabit has not fought since November of 2019 and will be looking to make a statement in his featherweight return. He was last seen against Calvin Kattar in a three-round main-event. Zabit picked up a hard-fought win over Kattar, and in the process, registered his sixth straight win inside the UFC.
Magomedsharipov is widely quoted to be the next best featherweight for quite some time. However, recent inactivity has kept him out of the title competition. Needless to say, a win in his return fight plummets him to a title spot. There a lot of incredible match-ups in the form of Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, and Alexander Volkanovski.
Who should be Zabit Magomedsharipov’s next opponent?
It’s still unclear how long will it be before we see Zabit compete inside the Octagon once again. However, names like Max Holloway come to mind. With Ortega vs Volkanovski set to be in The Ultimate Fighter, it’s safe to say that it will be a while before we see any other fighter fight for the championship belt.
In that situation, Max Holloway vs Zabit Magomedsharipoc makes a lot of sense. Max is the only fighter above him in the UFC’s featherweight rankings. Additionally, it’s a stylistic match-up between two crafty fighters who like to mix it up.