Zabit Magomedsharipov is coming to a hospital near you.
The Russian fighter is one of the most promising contenders in the UFC’s growing featherweight division, but he hasn’t competed in quite some time. In fact, the last time fight fans saw Magomedsharipov compete he knocked off Calvin Kattar in a Fight of the Night performance back in 2019. The victory pushed Zabit’s undefeated UFC record to 6-0.
Fight fans have been waiting for Magomedsharipov to return to the Octagon ever since, but he never made it back to the cage. Due in part to an issue with is immune system and overall lack of drive to return to fighting, Zabit has been sidelined for well over two years.
Fight fans were given a sign of hope earlier this year when it was revealed that Magomedsharipov was returning to training. However, Zabit leaked some surprising news this past week that he’s putting his fighting career on hold (yet again) to head into the medical field.
This is according to Sportskeeda, who reported the news earlier this week. Magomedsharipov, who has been pretty quiet over the years regarding his future in MMA, posted the following message to Instagram as well:
“The medical world of Makhachkala will soon have a new name,” he wrote.
In addition to the post, MMA reporter Ariel Helwani discussed Zabit’s declining interest in fighting during a recent episode of The MMA Hour. According to Helwani, religion played a role in Magomedsharipov making a decision to step away from the fight game.
“From what I was told, he had almost like this moral religious dilemma that he was dealing with,” reported Helwani (h/t Bloody Elbow). “He’s very religious and I think he reached a point where he just didn’t wanna do it anymore. Now, his brother fights and he corners his brother, which I think is very interesting, but obviously everyone is different.”
Magomedsharipov, 31, produced an overall MMA record of 18-1 from 2012-2019. After defeating the likes of Kattar, Jeremy Stephens, and Brandon Davis inside of the Octagon, the former ACB featherweight champion was pegged a future title contender in the UFC’s 145-pound division. Not to mention the four post-fight bonuses he won in just six UFC appearances.
For now, we’ll never know what Magomedsharipov would have been able to accomplish as he climbed the UFC featherweight rankings. At least he’s doing something better with his life than inflicting pain for pay.