In an unexpected turn of events, Yair Rodriguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov have reportedly verbally agreed to a fight at UFC 228 in September, according to ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported on May 11 that Rodriguez had been released by UFC after turning down an August fight against Magomedsharipov.
Per Nathan Zur of Sherdog, White recently suggested that he doesn't take kindly to fighters turning down his offers:
"When I call you and offer you a fight, you should probably take it. You should probably take it. I make 42 fights a year. And if you don't want to fight, and if you want to be picky and choosy, and you don't want to do this and you don't want to do that, then you probably need to go somewhere else. And I'll help you get there."
Rodriguez called his release an "eye-opening experience" and said he either wanted more money to fight Magomedsharipov or a Top 10 opponent instead, according to The MMA Hour (h/t Milan Ordonez of Bloody Elbow):
"I was like, okay, I'll fight Zabit if you give me more money in L.A. because I understand how big of an event it is, and they said no. [...]
"They didn't even want to give it to me in Russia. Then I was like, okay, you don't want to give me more money to fight him in L.A., you don't want to give me a top-10 [opponent]. Now I'm looking—now I see how the things are going. I told them I will accept anyone in the top 10. I don't need a negotiation for a top-10 [opponent]. I just think that's what I deserved, and they didn't want to give it to me. That was more about respect, respecting myself."
The 25-year-old Rodriguez has a career record of 10-2, including a 6-1 mark in UFC.
He last fought at UFC 211 in May 2017, losing to Frankie Edgar by doctor's stoppage in the second round.
Prior to that, Rodriguez scored arguably the biggest win of his career at UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Penn when he knocked out veteran B.J. Penn in the second round.
In Magomedsharipov, Rodriguez is set to take on a 15-1 fighter who is undefeated in three UFC bouts and on an overall win streak of 11 straight fights.
UFC is scheduled to take place on Sept. 8, but the location has yet to be finalized.