Friday, July 19, 2024
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MMA Preview: Robert Whitaker (26-7) vs Ikram Aliskerov (15-1)

Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov will serve as the new UFC Saudi Arabia headliner. Originally, Whittaker was supposed to fight Khamzat Chimaev in a title eliminator, but the Chechen pulled out of the bout. Aliskerov, whose only career loss happened to Chimaev, stepped in as his replacement.

Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov Odds

Robert Whittaker-200
Ikram Aliskerov+155

Odds Courtesy of Sports Odds Direct as of Friday June 21, 2024

When, Where, and How to Watch?

  • Place: Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Date: Saturday, June 22, 2024
  • Time: ~3:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ABC

The former UFC Middleweight champion was a +210 underdog against Chimaev, but against his new opponent, he’s seen as a -200 favorite. No surprise there as he’s got a fantastic MMA portfolio, having fought against the who’s who of the middleweight division.

In fact, it’s strange that bookies thought of him as an underdog against Chimaev. Sure, Chimaev is a master wrestler, but Whittaker is big, strong, and has plenty of weapons in his arsenal. This guy has a background in several martial arts, including freestyle wrestling.

Still, his strongest weapon is striking, the evidence being that 9 of his 25 wins happened by KO/TKO. Further, in most of the 11 fights he won by decision, he was the one to land more significant strikes.

Ikram Aliskerov is 15-1 overall, but he’s only fought twice in the UFC so far. However, in both of those fights, he was nothing short of brilliant. After impressing Dana White’s Contender Series, the Dagestani fighter made his promotional debut against Phil Hawes, whom he KO-ed in the first round.

Then, he pulled off another fantastic performance, this time against Warlley Alves. He beat this guy by a TKO in round 1, earning his first UFC Performance of the Night bonus along the way. Before joining the UFC, he fought in Eagle FC, Brave CF, and a few other promotions. During this period, he fought Khamzat Chimaev who beat him by KO in Round 1. The defeat to Chimaev remains his only professional loss to date.

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