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Whittaker v Aliskerov preview & betting picks | UFC Saudi Arabia

Whittaker v Aliskerov fight preview - UFC Saudi Arabia

Robert Whittaker vs Ikram Aliskerov

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Whittaker -142.86 at Bovada | Aliskerov +115 at Bovada
When Saturday, June 22 – main card from 10pm AST
Where Kingdom Arena – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), ESPN (AU), UFC Fight Pass

The UFC heads to the Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia for a hastily constructed main event featuring former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker and surging Russian prospect Ikram Aliskerov, who appears destined to fight for the belt one day. UFC matchmakers were forced to act when fan-favourite Khamzat Chimaev was ruled out due to illness, but this looks to be an equally poised contest between elite combat athletes.

Whittaker v Aliskerov fight analysis

Rob Whittaker

Robert Whittaker


Ikram Aliskerov

Ikram Aliskerov

26-7-0 MMA record 15-1-0
33 Age 31
6’0″ Height 6’0″
185lbs Weight 185lbs
73.5″ Reach 76″
Australia Nationality Russia

Robert Whittaker (26-7-0) has been a top-five middleweight for almost a decade. The Aussie captured the UFC title in 2017 with a win over Yoel Romero and has since battled the division’s most talented fighters. Whittaker has twice failed to overcome arch-nemesis Israel Adesanya but has seen off a host of other would-be title challengers, including Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, and Jared Cannonier.

The 33-year-old has slowed somewhat in recent years and his chin might be starting to present vulnerabilities, but he enters this contest as a slight favourite with UFC bookmakers due to his vast experience. Whittaker’s octagon longevity is a testament to a strategic approach built around avoiding damage while throwing a range of power shots from all ranges. His most impressive knockouts have come via head kick, and Whittaker’s striking volume gives him a strong winning record with the judges.

Ikram Aliskerov (15-1-0) steps in for the incapacitated Khamzat Chimaev and appears ready to press for a title challenge. The Russian’s only defeat came to Chimaev back in 2019, and he has improved noticeably since, rattling off seven straight wins. The 31-year-old has not yet faced an opponent of Whittaker’s calibre but possesses a well-rounded skill set and a killer instinct.

Aliskerov comes from the sambo school of fighting that propelled Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev to the top of the sport. The style is wrestling-heavy and combines submissions with heavy ground-and-pound. Aliskerov is no slouch in the stand-up department, with six knockouts as a professional, and will be unafraid to stand and trade with this opponent.

Whittaker v Aliskerov betting predictions

This is a well-made contest that might represent a changing of the guard at 185 pounds. Although only two years younger, Aliskerov is the fresher face, and he has not endured the same sorts of wars that Whittaker has fought through. The Australian was dropped and stopped in his loss to Dricus du Plessis in 2023 and might suffer the same fate here. Aliskerov will follow Whittaker to the ground if he lands a heavy shot, and the Russian’s superior ground game might prove decisive.

Ikram Aliskerov to win


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