Zabit Magomedsharipov continues to rise up the UFC featherweight rankings, currently sitting at #4 at 145 pounds with just Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, Alexander Volkanovski, and Max Holloway above him. Will he be able to rise any higher? That’s the big question as Zabit the prospect turns into Zabit the contender.
If we were to look closer at what could be his Achilles heel, cardio comes up a lot. Many Dagestani fighters have a rep for being workhorses but Magomedsharipov is the flashiest of the bunch, firing off a lot of spinning attacks and flashy kicks. That has taxed Zabit’s gas tank in the past and seemed to contribute to a less dominant third round in his main event battle with Calvin Kattar at the recent UFC Fight Night in Moscow, Russia.
Zabit has finally made a statement regarding the issue:
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Многие критикуют мою выносливость, не задумываясь, сколько энергии может отнимать нестандартная работа в бою. Я всегда стремлюсь порадовать своих болельщиков, но, конечно функционал будем подтягивать по любому. Зрелищность в бою или простая победа без риска? Чему бы вы отдали приоритет?
”Many criticize my endurance without thinking about how much energy a non-standard work in a battle can take,” Magomedsharipov wrote on Instagram (translated from Russian). “I always strive to please my fans, but, of course, we will pull the functionality up anyway. Entertainment in battle or a simple victory without risk? What would you give priority to?”
I, personally, give priority to Zabit’s entertaining style. But he’s not gonna be happy when it leaves him weary against a machine like Volkanovski or a killer like Aldo. So we’ll see if he manages to ‘pull the functionality up’ before he puts himself in that iffy position. Now that he’s official main event material, it’s 5 round fights the rest of the way up the ladder. We’ve already seen him struggling in round three. What’s next? Will Zabit soar like an eagle? Or sink like a rock?