Zabit Magomedsharipov appears to have shifted his focus toward UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski following the cancellation of his bout against Yair Rodriguez.
Magomedsharipov, the No. 3-ranked featherweight, was expected to meet Rodriguez in the Aug. 29 main event. But Rodriguez fell out of the contest due to an ankle injury earlier this week.
UFC president Dana White said the promotion is looking for a replacement to fight Magomedsharipov on that date. Calvin Kattar and Renato Moicano, among others, have offered to fill in against the Russian contender.
Volkanovski, who's coming off his first title defense against former champ Max Holloway in July, responded to Magomedsharipov's message later Wednesday. The Australian implied that he's not interested in fighting Magomedsharipov this month but would be open to it later in 2020 after the contender gets another victory.
In response to Volkanovski's tweet, Magomedsharipov suggested he challenge for the belt in October.
Magomedsharipov hasn't stepped into the Octagon since a November win over Kattar in the UFC Moscow main event.