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Khabib believes a Zabit Magomedsharipov return is possible: ‘Unlike me, he didn’t promise his mother’

UFC Fight Night: Zabit v Kattar Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Zabit Magomedsharipov has left the mixed martial arts (MMA) community wondering what could have been.

The talented Russian Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight contender called it a career this past June 2022. It’s been just over three years since Magomedsharipov (18-1) last competed, defeating Calvin Kattar via a unanimous decision.

Like his fellow countryman, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), Magomedsharipov went out on top with a lengthy win streak. The biggest difference between the pair’s departures, however, is that one hasn’t promised they won’t return.

“We are good friends and always talk, but we didn’t discuss his retirement,” Nurmagomedov told Red Corner MMA. “I think he left because of personal reasons. It’ll be interesting to talk to him about it.

“Unlike me, he didn’t promise his mother,” he laughed. “If you pique his interest, anything is possible. 50/50 [that he returns].”

Magomedsharipov, 31, is now embarking on the journey to become a doctor. While he made no promises in any direction, he noted after his retirement that one of the reasons he didn’t stick around was because UFC backpedaled on a title shot guarantee that never came to be. Additionally, Magomedsharipov has said that his own injuries along with several opponent refusals to fight him played a part in his exit from the sport where he made his name.

In Sept. 2017, Magomedsharipov joined UFC on the heels of a run as Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) champion in his home of Russia. The dazzling striker earned six wins in the Octagon, but stood out most with his Suloev stretch submission highlight against Brandon Davis and Fight of the Night victory over Kyle Bochniak.

With current champion, Alexander Volkanovski, making a trip back to Lightweight for his upcoming appearance in Feb. 2023, no time would be better than now for Magomedsharipov to scratch the MMA itch.

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