'It's Khabib and Tony all over again': Fans react as Zabit's UFC headliner against Yair Rodriguez postponed AGAIN
A highly anticipated UFC showdown between flashy strikers Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez has been canceled yet again, leading some to draw comparisons to the ill-fated Khabib Nurmagomedov Tony Ferguson saga.
It was announced by UFC president Dana White on Tuesday that an ankle injury suffered by the Mexican contender has ruled him out of the August 29 fight card in Las Vegas, leaving the UFC scrambling to locate a short-notice opponent for the Russian 145lbs title contender.
“Yeah, (he’s out),” White confirmed to the media late on Tuesday.
“He had a high ankle sprain and a fracture. So he’s out. We’re looking for a replacement.”
The UFC has tried on several occasions to arrange a fight between the two standout featherweights, but on each occasion, fate has conspired to interject – the first of which came in advance of the UFC 228 card two years ago.
The repeated problems in arranging the fight have led to some drawing comparisons with the situation between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson – a matchup that has been postponed five times.
Yair Rodriguez pulled out of Zabit fight with an ankle injury.Two opponents make sense, a rematch with Kattar or Max Holloway #ufc
— Weasle (@ThaWeasle) August 5, 2020
Both Magomedsharipov and Rodriguez are considered to be among the most inventive and creative strikers in the UFC featherweight division. Zabit has been near faultless in his six bouts with the UFC to date, with three submission wins in that stretch, while Yair has just one blemish on his UFC record – a defeat to former world champion Frankie Edgar.
As for who might step in to replace Rodriguez, one of Zabit’s former opponents – Calvin Kattar – has indicated that he would be happy to receive an opportunity to avenge the decision loss he suffered to the Russian last November, in a fight which Zabit stormed ahead on the scorecards early before tiring and allowing Kattar an opportunity to rally in the final round.
And according to Kattar’s manager Tyson Chartier, he wants an opportunity to correct the result of the first fight.
Yair Rodriguez is out of the the Aug. 29 main event versus Zabit Magomedsharipov due to an ankle injury, Dana White confirmed fonight. Calvin Kattar, via his manager Tyson Chartier, has agreed to step in on short notice. No word yet on what the UFC plans on doing.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 5, 2020
The loss of the Zabit-Yair fight (again) is another blow to the UFC, who has been forced to fast-track their fight promotion due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Whereas in the past many fights may have been booked months in advance, we are seeing more and more instances of bouts being arranged just weeks – or even days – before the first bell.
Much of this can be attributed to coronavirus and its associated problems, but in the case of Rodriguez it appears that it is simply a good, old-fashioned injury that has thrown a spanner in the works.