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Dana White: Yair Rodriguez injured, out of Aug. 29 headliner with Zabit Magomedsharipov

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Yair Rodriguez EL MMAFYair Rodriguez | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A highly anticipated featherweight headliner is no longer happening at the end of August.

Following Dana White’s Contender Series 27 on Tuesday night, White spoke with the media and was asked about a report from melinio.com that stated Yair Rodriguez was injured and would not face Zabit Magomedsharipov in the main event of the promotion’s Aug. 29 fight card in Las Vegas.

To the dismay of many, White confirmed the report as accurate.

“Yeah, (he’s out),” White stated. “He had a high ankle sprain and a fracture. So he’s out. We’re looking for a replacement.”

Magomedsharipov has won his previous 14 professional bouts, including all six of his UFC appearances. In 2019, the 29-year-old went 2-0 with unanimous decision wins over Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar.

After word of Rodriguez’s scratch, Kattar’s manager Tyson Chartier took to Twitter to confirm his client’s desire for a rematch—this time for five rounds.

If only there was another guy who was willing to step in ‍♂️I already spoke to @CalvinKattar and we are ready to go. @danawhite @seanshelby @ufc#FIVErounds https://t.co/csifly1j4f

— Tyson Chartier (@TysonChartier) August 5, 2020

It’s an unfortunate turn for Rodriguez, who was getting closer to his first opportunity at UFC gold. “El Pantera” is unbeaten in 11 of his last 12 fights, with his lone loss coming to Frankie Edgar at UFC 211. Since then, Rodriguez finished Chan Sung Jung, and earned a unanimous decision over Stephens at UFC Boston this past October.

It’s also the second time a planned bout between Magomedsharipov and Rodriguez has been canceled. Rodriguez withdrew from a scheduled fight in 2018.

The UFC’s Aug. 29 event features a light heavyweight matchup between Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakić, as well as another 145-pound matchup between Ryan Hall and Ricardo Lamas.

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