won’t be making his highly-anticipated
Ultimate Fighting Championship
return against Zabit
at UFC 228, as an injury “El Pantera” sustained
two weeks from fight night forced him off of the card, MMA Brasil was the first to report.

Rodriguez (10-2) had been in tense negotiations with the UFC as he
fought out the remaining fight on his previous contract. News of
the 25-year-old’s free agency stunned fight fans, but things were
eventually ironed out, and Rodriguez accepted a fight against one
of the organization’s hottest prospects in Magomedsharipov (15-1),
who has won 11 in a row and has finished nine of those

Rodriguez was looking to bounce back from a beat down from UFC
veteran and former champion Frankie
last year, and he’s been tied up in contact negotiations
with the promotion ever since. Before that, however, “El Pantera”
was a top featherweight prospect himself, who won the debut season
of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America,” won his first six fights
in the UFC and destroyed former two-time world champion B.J. Penn
immediately before the Edgar fight.

The UFC is still actively looking for a replacement for
Magomedsharipov as the event draws near. UFC 228 takes place on
Sept. 8 in Dallas and features a main event between UFC
welterweight champion Tyron
and undefeated challenger Darren Till.