One of the biggest featherweight prospects, Zabit Magomedsharipov had somewhat of an anti-climatic end to his UFC and MMA career. Retiring at the peak of his powers, Zabit was always one of the biggest ‘what ifs‘ in the sport. Despite a relatively brief stint in the UFC, the Russian did not fail to leave his mark on the sport.
With his potential never truly realized, many have often wondered how Zabit would stack up against the big names in the featherweight division today. As it turns out, Zabit was recently offered the chance to come out of retirement for an immediate title shot. Unfortunately, it appears as though Zabit has seemingly turned down the opportunity to do so.
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Zabit revealed in an interview with URF Media that he was offered the chance to make his return to the UFC Octagon. Zabit said, “It was the same, they immediately offered a fight for the belt. But I still said no.” Previously, there were talks that Zabit was unhappy with the UFC’s failure to keep its promise.
After beating Calvin Kattar in 2019, the UFC reportedly promised Zabit a title shot. Seeing the UFC promise one thing and then not following through really upset Zabit and he labeled it as one of the reasons why he decided to retire. Now that the UFC is offering him the same, why has Zabit still declined the offer?
Why did Zabit Magomedsharipov retire so early?
A flashy, acrobatic, and aggressive fighter, there was a lot of hype behind Zabit during his time in the UFC. Notably, former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov also hailed Zabit as the best featherweight fighter in the world. Thus, it was a bit of a shock when Zabit decided to retire from the sport in early 2021.
According to many including Zabit himself, there were numerous factors that led to his decision to retire from the sport. As mentioned previously, the UFC not keeping their promise to give him a title shot was one of the reasons Zabit chose to step away. However, it is important to note that it wasn’t the only one. According to Zabit, he was not offered fights for around 2 years. After his win over Kattar in 2019, the UFC kept him in limbo.
Other than that, there were health and religious issues that further affected his decisions. As per the fighter, he had a lot of injuries and illnesses that he wasn’t fully able to recover from. Thus, as time passed, Zabit stated that he did not have the desire to fight any longer. Despite a few hints of maybe returning, Zabit never truly seemed to want to make a comeback.
Moreover, other than Zabit’s own health issues, it appeared as though he wished for a career change as well. On Instagram, Zabit revealed that he was undergoing medical studies and was in the process of becoming a doctor. While it is unknown whether he has completed his studies, Zabit will seemingly stick with his new profession for the foreseeable future.