Yair Rodriguez back in the UFC to face Zabit Magomedsharipov

June 1, 2018

In a turn of events, the UFC has rescinded the termination of Yair Rodriguez’s contract as he is now slated to face Zabit Magomedsharipov in September per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Rodriguez was terminated by the UFC after reports had Yair and Zabit facing each other in August in Los Angeles.  But, Yair turned down the offer and his contract with the UFC was abruptly terminated.  Dana White indicated at the post-fight press conference at UFC Liverpool this past Sunday that, “When I offer you a fight, you should probably take it.”

Rodriguez claimed that he was negotiating for better pay and/or a top 10 opponent.  With respect to the Zabit matchup, he stated that he requested more money since the fight would have been a part of a big event in LA this August.  The UFC did not want to give him more money.

Okamoto reported Friday that the UFC has reinstated Rodriguez to face Zabit in September.  Possibly, the event could be a part of the inaugural event in Russia.

Payout Perspective:

The situation is reminiscent of when Jon Fitch was let go by the UFC since he would not relinquish his likeness rights for video games and other merchandise.  White was adamant at the time he let go of Fitch and expressed the same sentiment when asked about Rodriguez this past weekend.  However, it appears that the parties have resolved their differences.  Notwithstanding Rodriguez getting his job back with the UFC, the threat of firing a fighter for not taking a fight and then bringing them back doesn’t seem like a sound way to run a promotion.  It seems like the firing was a show of force to send a message to other fighters to listen when told to do something.

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