Aliskerov on Replacing Khamzat at UFC Saudi Arabia: “Always Be Ready”

Aliskerov steps in for Chimaev due to illness, faces Whittaker in Saudi Arabia.

Ikram Aliskerov, a rising star in the UFC, is set to face former UFC champion Robert Whittaker at UFC Saudi Arabia this weekend. Originally, Whittaker was scheduled to fight UFC sensation Khamzat Chimaev. However, according to UFC President Dana White, Chimaev had to withdraw due to a severe illness, paving the way for Aliskerov to step in as a replacement.

Aliskerov’s Mindset

Reflecting on the whirlwind week that led to his high-profile matchup, Aliskerov emphasized the unpredictable nature of the sport.

“This is what we do; we are fighters. This is our sport and our life. I even posted on Instagram, ‘Anyone, anytime.’ It’s a motto you need to live by when competing at this level. I’m ready, whether it’s five rounds or ten rounds. You always have to be ready for this kind of thing. That’s how I live,” he shared.

Whittaker’s Journey

Whittaker, known for his resilience and tactical acumen, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298. This victory was crucial for Whittaker, who had previously faced a second-round TKO loss to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290. The matchup with Aliskerov represents another significant challenge as he continues to solidify his standing in the middleweight division.

Main Event and Fight Card Details

The UFC Saudi Arabia event is historic as it marks the promotion’s debut in the Kingdom. Alongside the headline bout between Whittaker and Aliskerov, the co-main event will feature top-ranked heavyweights Sergei Pavlovich and Alexander Volkov. Other notable fights include Kelvin Gastelum versus Daniel Rodriguez and Johnny Walker against Volkan Oezdemir.


UFC Saudi Arabia – Fight Card and Start Times

Main Card

Starts at 21:00 local time on Saturday, June 22 – Available on Viaplay

  • Middleweight: Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov
  • Heavyweight: Sergei Pavlovich vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Welterweight: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez
  • Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs. Volkan Oezdemir

Preliminary Card

Starts at 18:00 local time on Saturday, June 22 – Available on UFC Fight Pass

  • Middleweight: Sharabutdin Magomedov vs. Joilton Lutterbach
  • Lightweight: Nasrat Haqparast vs. Jared Gordon
  • Welterweight: Rinat Fakhretdinov vs. Nicolas Dalby
  • Bantamweight: Kang Kyung-ho vs. Muin Gafurov
  • Light Heavyweight: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov vs. Brendson Ribeiro
  • Featherweight: Muhammad Naimov vs. Felipe Lima
  • Bantamweight: Xiao Long vs. Lee Chang-ho

Stay tuned for what promises to be an exhilarating night of fights as Aliskerov seizes his unexpected opportunity against one of the division’s best.

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