UFC’s card on August 29th 2020 has lost its main event, after Yair Rodriguez pulled out injured.
The Mexican featherweight was scheduled to take on Zabit Magomedsharipov in a fight that was expected to determine the next challenger for Alexander Volkanovski’s title. However talking to the media after his Contender Series relaunched, Dana White confirmed that Yair was injured and would be unable to compete.
White said that ‘Pantera’ had suffered a “high sprain and fracture of his ankle,” which would now signal the third time the UFC has tried to put this fight together only for it to fall through. The press were quick to ask whether that meant the card would be restructured or whether they would be looking for a replacement, to which White confirmed a replacement was the preferred option.
This led to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani tweeting out that Calvin Kattar’s management had offered to step in on short notice. Kattar is fresh off a five round war with Dan Ige on Fight Island, where he won a unanimous decision after largely out-boxing his opponent. Following the fight Kattar said he was looking towards the Top 5 and this fight presents him with that perfect opportunity.
The UFC is yet to decide on whether or not they’ll take Kattar up on his offer to step in at short-notice.
If the match-up was to be made, it would be a rematch of their fight from November last year where they main evented a Fight Night card on short notice in a three round fight. Zabit was criticised for refusing to go up to five rounds on short notice and Kattar came on strong later in the fight, potentially showing that if the fight had gone into a fourth or fifth round then he could have caused Zabit a lot of problems.
As the featherweight division heats up, it’s once again Yair Rodriguez to miss out through injury and Calvin Kattar stepping in to try and make a name for himself at the top of the rankings at 145lbs.