Robert Whittaker on why Ikram Aliskerov is a “harder” fight than undefeated Khamzat Chimaev

By Curtis Calhoun - June 17, 2024

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker feels Ikram Aliskerov provides a more dangerous puzzle to solve than Khamzat Chimaev.

Robert Whittaker, Ikram Aliskerov

Whittaker will face Aliskerov in the UFC Saudi Arabia main event on Saturday. The former titleholder was scheduled to face Chimaev, who withdrew due to an undisclosed medical emergency.

Chimaev and Aliskerov are two of the most dangerous talents in the middleweight division. They squared off earlier in their careers, with Chimaev handing Aliskerov his lone defeat.

Whittaker feels that Aliskerov’s skillset, combined with the mentality needed to take a fight on days’ notice, could make Aliskerov a tougher out.

Robert Whittaker explains the added danger of facing Ikram Aliskerov

During a recent interview with MMA Junkie‘s Mike Bohn, Whittaker compared Aliskerov with Chimaev.

“He’s a dangerous guy, got a really good skillset,” Whittaker said. “The [betting] odds display that. I understand the type of fight it’s going to be, in some ways, it could be harder than Chimaev, but I’m fit, ready, and loaded to get this done…

“I watched some footage, some tape…he knows what he’s good at and he uses it to great effect. And I think the mentality behind stepping up to the plate, last minute, with everything to gain…nothing to lose, I expect him to come out really hard, aggressive and bring that [scrap].”

Aliskerov is 2-0 inside the UFC Octagon with finishes of Phil Hawes and Warlley Alves. He earned a shot in the promotion via Dana White’s Contender Series in 2022.

After defeating Paulo Costa at UFC 298 in February, Robert Whittaker wants to keep momentum. A win over Aliskerov could clinch another title shot for his next UFC outing.

Fans can expect a bloodbath between two of the most explosive UFC middleweights, and Whittaker understands the risk he’s taking in facing Aliskerov with days to prepare.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Khamzat Chimaev Robert Whittaker UFC