Robert Whittaker reacts to Khamzat Chimaev being out of UFC Saudi Arabia, says “nobody” wanted to take the fight against him

By Cole Shelton - June 14, 2024

Robert Whittaker wasn’t sure if he was still going to headline UFC Saudi Arabia after Khamzat Chimaev was out.

Robert Whittaker

Whittaker was set to headline the card next Saturday against Chimaev, but on Thursday, rumors started to swirl that the undefeated fighter would be out. However, according to Whittaker, he didn’t know Chimaev was out until the UFC informed him the fight was off.

“Mate, when I knew it wasn’t happening (is when I found out). There weren’t any rumors or anything,” Whittaker said to from Dubai on Friday. “It was just that Khamzat is out, and then what’s going on now?”

Once Whittaker got the news, he said it was disappointing as he spent months working on a specific gameplan for Chimaev. He also was extremely confident he would get his hand raised and hand Chimaev his first loss.

“It was a little frustrating, I spent like three months working a very specific gameplan for a very specific opponent, obviously Chimaev doesn’t fight like a lot of people, I really tailored the fight camp to that fighting style. I’m still fit, I’m still razor sharp,” Whittaker said.

“I flew out here and I understand I’m the main event of the card that comes with a level of responsibility, it’s how I earn my living. I wanted to fight, I wanted the show to go on, and I wanted to do my job, so hats off to Ikram for taking the fight, and to the UFC for setting it up, and I look forward to putting on a show,” Whittaker added.

Once Khamzat Chimaev was off of UFC Saudi Arabia, Robert Whittaker says there wasn’t a thought of not fighting. Although Whittaker is facing an unranked opponent, the Aussie said he wanted to be a part of UFC Saudi Arabia so told the UFC to find him an opponent.

“Mate, there was no thought to not fight. That is my job, that is what I flew across the world to do, and that is how I put bread on the table for my family. I understand I am the main event, a lot of eyes. It’s the first card in Saudi Arabia, so I want to be a part of that,” Whittaker added.

Ultimately, the UFC was able to get Robert Whittaker a fight against Ikram Aliskerov. However, the former champ says there weren’t many options as a couple of fighters turned it down due to the short notice.

“There weren’t a lot of names thrown around, nobody would take it, it was too short notice. I understand the level of danger Ikram brings in. He is a guy coming in last minute, he was fighting this weekend, so he’s ready, he has nothing to lose, everything to gain, and he has a dangerous skillset,” Whittaker concluded.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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