What’s next for Robert Whittaker and Ikram Aliskerov after UFC Saudi Arabia?

By Cole Shelton - June 25, 2024

In the main event of UFC Saudi Arabia on Saturday, middleweights threw down as Robert Whittaker took on Ikram Aliskerov, who stepped up on short notice.

Robert Whittaker lands an uppercut on Ikram Aliskerov

Whittaker entered the fight coming off a decision win over Paulo Costa back in February to return to the win column after a TKO loss to Dricus Du Plessis. Aliskerov, meanwhile, was coming off a KO win over Warlley Alves after he knocked out Phil Hawes in his debut.

Ultimately, it was Whittaker who made quick work of the unranked middleweight as he scored a first-round knockout win over Aliskerov. Following UFC Saudi Arabia, here is what I think should be next for both fighters involved in the main event.

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker took a big risk by taking on the unranked Ikram Aliskerov on short notice. Had Whittaker lost, it likely would have ended any hope of him fighting for the middleweight title again. However, Whittaker proved he still is a top-ranked middleweight with a KO win over Aliskerov.

With Israel Adesanya set to face Dricus Du Plessis for the middleweight title in August, Whittaker could be the backup for the fight. Although the Aussie has a shot at getting the next middleweight title fight, but Whittaker should face Sean Strickland next time out as a No. 1 contender.

Whittaker vs. Strickland could serve as a Fight Night main event later this summer or fall, or be a five-round fight on a pay-per-view. Regardless, it’s a fight many fans want to see and it should happen next to determine the next title contender.

Ikram Aliskerov

Ikram Aliskerov is in a unique spot in the division that he is unranked but just headlined a card against the third-ranked middleweight contender.

Aliskerov still should get another ranked opponent next to really gauge just how good he is. One logical matchup is to face Chris Curtis who is ranked 15th and is coming off a loss to Brendan Allen. Although Curtis suffered an injury, Aliskerov will also likely need time off to heal up after the KO loss so the fight can happen at the end of the year in what should be a fun striking battle.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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