Robert Whittaker speaks after booking UFC Saudi Arabia showdown with Khamzat Chimaev: “He’s a hard fighter”

By Josh Evanoff - March 28, 2024

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is ready to put on a show against Khamzat Chimaev.

Robert Whittaker

‘The Reaper’ is fresh off his return to the octagon at UFC 298 opposite Paulo Costa. There, Robert Whittaker got back on the winning track, with a unanimous decision win over the Brazilian. Just a month removed from his most recent victory, the former champion has signed a deal to face Khamzat Chimaev.

Dana White recently announced that the middleweight contenders will headline UFC Saudi Arabia later this year in June. For his part, Khamzat Chimaev is coming off a majority decision victory over Kamaru Usman in October. That bout was labeled a title eliminator, but now the Chechen will need to defeat Robert Whittaker to fight for gold.

Earlier today, Robert Whittaker discussed the fight announcement on his MMArcade Podcast. There, ‘The Reaper’ admitted that he wasn’t exactly expecting a bout with Khamzat Chimaev to come to fruition, much less at the speed that it did. However, Whittaker is excited to face the undefeated Chechen later this year.

He continued and gave a lot of praise to Khamzat Chimaev as well. While Robert Whittaker is aware that ‘Borz’ likes to act like a villain, he expects them to have a good, honorable fight this summer in the Middle East.


Robert Whittaker speaks after signing deal to face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC Saudi Arabia

“I can’t wait. It’s mad how it’s all come together,” Robert Whittaker stated on his podcast, discussing his recently announced fight against Khamzat Chimaev. “I’m looking for it. Can’t go too hard too quick because it is still four months away. So, just got to ease into it, and I’m looking forward to it. I know he’s a hard fighter, he likes to grapple a lot and uses his reach and range to good effectiveness. He’s [also] got knockout power.”

He continued, “But honestly, you know, he likes to play the villain against these guys, against his opponents. But he’s an honorable fighter. We’re going to get in there, and we’re going to have an honest fight. We’re both going to leave it in there. He’s not a quitter, I’m not a quitter. So I look forward to really making history in Saudi Arabia.”

The middleweight clash between Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev was one of many that were announced by Dana White last night. The UFC CEO also announced other matchups, including Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez, as well as Johnny Walker vs. Volkan Oezdemir, that will go down in June.

What do you make of these comments from Robert Whittaker? Do you believe that he will defeat Khamzat Chimaev at UFC Saudi Arabia in June?