Michael Bisping reacts to Zabit Magomedsharipov’s retirement rumors


Michael Bisping has reacted to the ongoing rumors regarding Zabit Magomedsharipov’s retirement. Bisping asserted that if the stories regarding Magomedsharipov losing his passion for MMA are true, he’d be better off retiring from the sport.

Russian featherweight star Zabit Magomedsharipov thoroughly impressed the MMA world with multiple outstanding performances in his UFC run. Magomedsharipov’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Night: Magomedsharipov vs. Kattar (November 2019).

On an edition of the Believe You Me podcast (*Video courtesy: Fight CAT), MMA legend and former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping had his say.

“Yeah, I’m just looking at his record here. I mean, he’s 18 and 1. The one loss was years ago, back in 2013, early in his career,” Bisping said. “And yeah, he’s like a guy that everybody’s so high on, and rightly so, he’s looked incredible in the Octagon. He’s got well-rounded skills. He’s got a tremendously tall, lanky frame. He’s a nasty b***d when he’s in the Octagon. I just don’t get it. So, he’s stepping away because he’s losing the passion? Is that correct?”

Upon once again being told that Zabit Magomedsharipov is considering retirement as he isn’t passionate about competing anymore, Bisping seemed disappointed.

“Well, that’s a shame,” Bisping continued. “And it’s very sad because I enjoyed watching him, and he was certainly; he’s a featherweight, right? Yeah, he’s a very, very good addition to the featherweight division. And (he) could’ve surprised people. Definitely has the ability to be a champion. But guess what, you know, you need that fire within you. You need that passion. And if that does die – And it’s unusual for that to happen, young in his career and he hasn’t become the champion.

“I don’t know what his financial situation is,” Bisping added. “Maybe he comes from a very wealthy family or whatever. Generally, money is the motivating factor. And if that isn’t necessarily required, I don’t know if it is or isn’t, and for some people there’s more to life than just money as well. It’s unusual, but if the passion’s gone, then forget it; he should be gone as well.” (*Video courtesy: Fight CAT; H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Zabit Magomedsharipov was recently removed from the UFC featherweight rankings due to inactivity.

Zabit Magomedsharipov was nearing a UFC featherweight title shot

Zabit Magomedsharipov
Zabit Magomedsharipov

Zabit Magomedsharipov was widely regarded as one of the best MMA featherweight fighters in the world today. So much so that he was on the cusp of finally being awarded a UFC featherweight title shot in 2020.

However, travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and other such factors disallowed him from competing in the US. There have also been multiple fight cancelations involving Magomedsharipov over the past few years.

Presently, Alexander Volkanovski, who’s starring in the TUF 29 reality show against Brian Ortega, holds the UFC featherweight title. Ortega is set to challenge for the belt at the TUF finale later this year.

Do you see Zabit Magomedsharipov returning to the UFC? Sound off in the comments.


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