Russian UFC star retires after 14-fight win streak – media
Russian UFC featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov, 31, has reportedly confirmed his retirement from mixed martial arts, more than two years after what proved to be his final fight in the Octagon.
The Dagestan native was undefeated in his UFC career, winning six straight fights between 2017 and 2019 with his final fight for the organization coming against American Calvin Kattar in Moscow.
However, his prolonged absence since then had prompted questions as to his future within the sport, particularly following an April social media post in which Magomedsharipov indicated that he was pursuing a career in medicine.
Several other reasons had been speculated as being the reason for his hiatus from the sport, including persistent injuries and even that he had just lost interest in MMA.
Magomedsharipov had been linked on several occasions to a fight with fellow featherweight livewire Yair Rodridguez, with the fight booked in August 2020 before the Mexican fighter was forced to withdraw due to injury.
This proved to be the final time that Magomedsharipov would be contracted to a fight in the UFC, with MMA Fighting reporting that the Russian has informed the promotion of his decision to retire from active competition.
To many, Zabit's UFC run will be a case of 'what might have been?'
The relentlessly fluid and creative fighter was outstanding on both the feet and the ground, and was adept at using his lengthy frame to dominate opponents.
His impressive submission game was also a key indicator of his talent - with Magomedsharipov being one of just a handful of fighters to score a Suloev stretch win in the UFC (which came against Brandon Davis in 2018).
Zabit's unique talents in the cage seemed to have earmarked him for a world title shot before long - something which likely would have happened by now had he remained active past 2019.
Fight fans, though, will remember 'Zabeast' fondly, especially given the four post-fight bonuses he received in his six UFC fights - a statistic which backs up his reputation as being one of the sport's more entertaining fighters.
The Magomedsharipov fighting legacy will continue through his younger brother Khasan, who has begun his career with an impressive 7-0 start - the final two of those coming under the Bellator banner.
But when it comes to Zabit, it will be difficult to think of his career without considering the sheer untapped potential which came with it.
UFC gold beckoned and seemed to be within touching distance. But as his compatriot Khabib Nurmagomedov confirmed with his own retirement last year, there is another life outside the Octagon - and that is apparently something Zabit is keen to discover.