Robert Whittaker Admits Unfamiliarity with New Opponent

“I had not heard of him or seen him fight before.”

When Khamzat Chimaev withdrew from his scheduled fight against Robert Whittaker, Ikram Aliskerov stepped in as the replacement. In a recent interview with the New York Post, Robert Whittaker confessed that he had never heard of Aliskerov before this matchup.

Aliskerov’s Record

Ikram Aliskerov is a rising star in the UFC, boasting an undefeated record in the organization with victories over Phil Hawes and Warlley Alves. Overall, his career record stands at 15 wins and just one loss. Despite his impressive record, Whittaker admitted, “I had not heard of him or seen him fight before.”

Whittaker’s Preparation Shift

Whittaker explained the challenges of adapting to a new opponent on short notice.

“I had a game plan I was working on for months. Ikram poses a different threat. Sometimes you just have to take things as they come. I have full confidence in my skills and my ability,” he said.

Past Experiences

This isn’t the first time Whittaker has had to adjust to a last-minute opponent change. In 2021, he was set to fight Paulo Costa but ended up facing Kelvin Gastelum instead, whom he defeated via unanimous decision. Reflecting on his approach to sudden changes,

Whittaker stated, “In this game, there are moments that can change the outcome of the fight. You can’t let off for a second”.


Upcoming Challenges

Looking forward, Whittaker expressed his desire to remain active, hoping to fight at least two more times before the end of the year. “The middleweight division is always moving, and any fight can be made at any time. I want to keep fighting and stay prepared,” he said.

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