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Whittaker puts hand up for UFC 305 after knocking out Aliskerov

Whittaker UFC betting

Robert Whittaker has rocketed to the front of the line in the UFC middleweight division and is now primed to fight for the title at UFC 305 in Perth this August if need be.

Whittaker executed a stunning knockout of up-and-coming middleweight Ikram Aliskerov in the UFC Fight Night main event in Riyadh on Saturday night. UFC bookmakers expected he’d win, but not like this.

Aliskerov had stepped in as a last-minute replacement after Khamzat Chimaev withdrew from the bout in Saudi Arabia a week ago. It was a risk for Whittaker to take the fight, given Aliskerov’s raw knockout power.

Yet it was the Australian who showcased his knockout ability, ending the fight within two minutes in the first round.

Whittaker ready to step in at UFC 305

Immediately following his victory, Whittaker declared his intentions to fight for the title he held six years ago.

“I’ll fight anywhere, anytime,” he said.

“I proved it tonight and I’ll prove it again. I’ll fight anyone.”

When asked if he’d be willing to step in and fight as a replacement in the main event of UFC 305 — where Israel Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis are fighting for the UFC Middleweight Championship — Whittaker’s answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

“I’m healthy, I’m hearty. Definitely, let’s go,” he said.

“I’m in good health and it’s in my home country, so how can I say no?

“It’s around the corner. It would be silly for me not to be a backup fighter.

“Especially after the win I had and the shape I’m in. It makes sense for me.”

The 33-year-old sits as the No.3 contender in the UFC middleweight division, behind Adesanya and Sean Strickland.

However, after Strickland’s unconvincing split-decision victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 302, Saturday’s result has effectively put Whittaker ahead of the American in the pecking order.

Only time will tell if he gets a shot at UFC 305, but one thing is for sure: ‘The Bogeyman’ is ready.

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