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Zabit Magomedsharipov opens up on UFC retirement: ‘They promised one thing, did another’

Zabit Magomedsharipov retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) earlier this year after a lengthy period without any fights. The 31-year-old Russian was always a bit of a mystery, and didn’t give any concrete details as to the reason(s) he decided to walk away from his position as a top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight contender.

Until now.

In a new interview shared by Fighting Flashback, Magomedsharipov discussed his retirement.

“The reasons ... there were many reasons,” he said. “Firstly because of refusals to fight with me. I had no fights for two years. Then there were injuries, I was sick a lot. I didn’t recover. Such, many reasons.

“The main reason was that I was not able to fight,” he continued. “They didn’t give me a title shot. They promised one thing and did another. That was a little bit ... they promised me and didn’t keep a promise. That was the main reason why I got mad.”

Magomedsharipov's last UFC fight was a decision win over Calvin Kattar in Nov. 2019. Multiple attempts to set him up against Yair Rodriguez in a 145-pound contender bout failed to come to fruition as rumors raged that Magomedsharipov was suffering from a potentially career-ending medical issue. While those health issues were real, he clearly sounds unhappy with how UFC treated him in this new interview.

When asked if he may fight again someday, Zabit firmly said, “No” before opening the door to the possibility.

“The time has passed, I don’t have such a desire,” he said before adding, “I want to do it when I see someone fighting. When I join their training camp, me and other friends. There could be a wish. I have to think. I am going to think about your question.”

Asked if he might become a coach, Magomedsharipov nodded.

“It could be. Why not?” he said. “It is interesting for me to work with children. Not adults, just children. To teach them. To communicate with them. It is interesting to me. I want to have rest from sport a year or two. Maybe then I will start, we will see.”

With Magomedsharipov just 31 years old, it sounds like there’s still a small possibility he could un-retire. As it stands, he remains one of the biggest, “What If” stories in the sport: a Featherweight title contender who walked away before testing himself at the championship level.

Magomedsharipov ended his career with an 18-1 record, on a 14-fight win streak, six of which came in UFC.

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