Jan 15, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Yair Rodriguez celebrates after defeating B.J. Penn (not pictured) by TKO in the second round during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In a Dramatic Turn of Events, Yair Rodriguez is Back in the UFC After Being Harshly Released…

Fight fans were stunned a few weeks ago when rising featherweight star Yair Rodriguez was cut from the roster after refusing to fight dangerous Russian fighter Zabit Magomedsharipov. Now, in a dramatic turn of events, it looks like the Mexican fighter is back and will fight the Dagestan native at UFC 228.

Rodriguez’s dismissal was perceived by many fans to be extremely harsh, considering Magomedsharipov is unranked and the Mexican is looking up the division himself. After six straight wins in the UFC, Rodriguez lost out last time around to Frankie Edgar, his first defeat in the organization.

After he was brutally cut, it was assumed that he’d be picked up very quickly by the likes of Bellator or Combate Americas. Now, however, MMA journalist Brett Okamoto broke the news on Twitter that the fight looks set to go down on September 8.

Mandatory Credit: Mark J Rebilas USA Today


It’s a really unexpected move because UFC President Dana White has been very harsh in his language about the Mexican. In a recent interview, he didn’t pull any punches. Actually, he came across as a bit of a bully. He said:

“When I call you and offer you a fight, you should probably take it. You should probably take it. I make 42 fights a year. And if you don’t want to fight, and if you want to be picky and choosy, and you don’t want to do this and you don’t want to do that, then you probably need to go somewhere else. And I’ll help you get there.”

Obviously, some financial arrangement has tempted Rodriguez back to sign another deal. It’s a fascinating fight on paper. However, it’s interesting that it isn’t being booked for the UFC’s debut in Russia a week later. You’d have expected a rising Russian star like Zabit to be on that card in Moscow.


The UFC has allegedly rescinded its letter that cut Rodriguez from the company’s ranks. However, the fight with Magomedsharipov is not a done deal yet but appears to be moving closer to completion. Okamoto said:

“I’m told UFC is rescinding its termination letter to Yair Rodriguez, essentially reinstating his contract. The Magomedsharipov fight is not signed yet but is UFC 228 on Sept. 8. No location finalized for that event.”



Needless to say, the MMA world has been reacting to this insane turnaround. Rising welterweight star Darren Till posted his reaction on Twitter. The Liverpool fighter wrote:

“Yair vs Zabit is the fight of the year if this happens again.”

You’ll find it hard to come across someone who disagrees with that statement. Both men are two of the most exciting stand-up fighters in the featherweight division. Magomedsharipov just has an elite quality about him that makes him sensational to watch. If this one does happen, then we’re talking box office viewing and the winner will surely rise up the ranks. Fingers crossed.

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