Robert Whittaker shares the one thing Khamzat Chimaev needs to change to avoid an ‘early night’ at UFC Saudi Arabia

By Curtis Calhoun - May 21, 2024

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker thinks his five-round experience will be a lot for Khamzat Chimaev to deal with inside the cage.

Robert Whittaker, Khamzat Chimaev

Whittaker and Chimaev will fight in a potential No. 1 contender matchup at UFC Saudi Arabia on June 22. It’s one of the biggest fights of the summer with high stakes at 185lbs.

Whittaker will attempt to hand Chimaev his first career loss after going 7-0 thus far in his UFC tenure. Chimaev earned a majority decision win in his most recent fight at UFC 294 in October.

Chimaev’s win over Kamaru Usman was impressive, but not without its notable moments as the fight went on. Chimaev appeared to dramatically slow down against Usman in Round 3, particularly with his striking approach.

Whittaker feels Chimaev might’ve shown a significant weakness ahead of their upcoming clash.

Robert Whittaker: Khamzat Chimaev needs to pace himself

During a recent interview with Main Event, Whittaker warned Chimaev ahead of UFC Saudi Arabia.

“I’m ready for the wrestling exchanges, I’m ready for the scrambling,” Whittaker said of Chimaev. “It’s a 5-round fight, so I’m sure his pacing’s gotta be a little different. Otherwise, it’s gonna be an early fight for him…

“I’ve seen him in person, he’s taller than me. I’ve always thought he’s a middleweight who struggles to get to welterweight, not the other way around. You’ve seen him time and time again, wrestling and grappling these big strong dudes. So he’s gonna come in strong, so I’m not worried about [his size] too much.”

Most of Whittaker’s recent fights have been scheduled for five-round affairs. But, his last three UFC bookings have been three-rounders, including his recent win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298.

Chimaev has been booked for one five-round fight during his UFC tenure, against Nate Diaz at UFC 279. But, after missing weight ahead of the event, he was booked for a five-rounder against Kevin Holland, winning by first-round submission.

Whittaker vs. Chimaev is one of the biggest fights of the year, particularly for the UFC middleweight division. The former middleweight titleholder plans to take Chimaev into deep waters inside the Octagon.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Khamzat Chimaev Robert Whittaker UFC