Unless you’re a hardcore fan, the name Zabit Magomedsharipov might not be one that’s familiar to you, but, according to his coach Mark Henry, it’s one you should remember. Why’s that? Well, according to the renowned, striking coach, the 26 year-old prospect is already so good, he would cruise through Conor McGregor…
Magomedsharipov made his way to the UFC this past September, and submitted Mike Santiago to move his overall record to 13-1. The Dagestan fighter’s second bout with the promotion will take place tomorrow, as Magomedsharipov is scheduled to fight Sheymon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China.
Well, in advance of the card, Henry spoke with MMA Fighting, and while doing so, he heaped mountains of praise on the rising fighter. Here is some of what Henry had to say about Magomedsharipov.
“Of course, the skillset is there, but it’s other things like toughness and heart that you can’t train that he just has naturally. Frankie (Edgar) was a champion and I see the exact same championship qualities in Zabit.
“I can remember I saw Sean (Shelby) and he was feeling out what kind of opponents we were thinking about. I told him Zabit and Frankie are good friends and I explained to him that when he is matching Zabit he should close he eyes and pretend that he’s matching Frankie, because he is ready for those kind of fights.
“I think he destroys McGregor. I think he could beat Max too, but he would look phenomenal against McGregor. He has that range too, so I think he could look good against Aldo as well.”
So, ya. That is indeed some lofty praise, which no doubt some folks, particularly McGregor, Holloway and Aldo fans, will scoff at. Since tomorrow is only Magomedsharipov’s second UFC fight, it remains to be seen how he fairs agains top tier competition. In that respect, Henry also said in the interview that facing Moraes is a “step-up” for the featherweight.
But, if you follow MMA intently, then you know that Henry is one of the most respected minds in the game. So, to hear him saying these things about Magomedsharipov, is pretty noteworthy.
If you’re wondering, Magomedsharipov – Moraes is the last fight on tomorrow’s prelims, so it’s likely going to take place around 6:30 AM/ET or so, here in North America…