UFC Saudi Arabia: Dana White confirms Khamzat Chimaev vs Robert Whittaker title contender bout

Saudi Arabia made waves in the sporting world with high-profile combat sports events. The PFL vs Bellator: Champs PPV in February marked the first high-profile MMA event in the Kingdom. Dana White, the CEO of UFC, recently announced their entry with UFC Saudi Arabia scheduled for June.

Originally, the UFC planned to debut in the largest Arabian Kingdom in March. However, according to Ariel Helwani, the authorities in the Kingdom desired a stacked card instead of the weak one proposed by the promotion.

Khamzat Chimaev vs Robert Whittaker bout confirmed for UFC Saudi Arabia

The main event for the inaugural UFC Saudi Arabia event was announced by Dana White recently per MMAFighting. Live on ABC, the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev will take on Robert Whittaker, the former middleweight champion. The fight will be Chimaev’s first five-round headliner.

White also revealed that the fight will be a number one contender fight at middleweight. Chimaev’s last bout against Kamaru Usman was also a number-one contender fight. However, his lackluster performance against Usman at UFC 294, did not earn him any favors.

Whittaker is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 299 which even drew praise from Islam Makhachev. In the middleweight division, Whittaker has only lost to Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis, the former and current champions of the division, respectively.

Whittaker is ranked 3rd in the division whereas Chimaev occupies the 11th position. Betting odds may favor Whittaker but Chimaev will enjoy the crowd support at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Details on UFC Saudi Arabia fight card

Dana White and the UFC have stacked the UFC Saudi Arabia card, despite it being a Fight Night rather than a PPV. In the co-main event, two Russian heavyweights will lock horns inside the octagon. The number 3-ranked Sergei Pavlovich will face off against the number 6-ranked Alexander Volkov.

Pavlovich will be looking to bounce back from his knockout loss to Tom Aspinall in the interim heavyweight title fight at UFC 295. Volkov’s last defeat was also against Aspinall, but he has since rebounded with three wins, all finished before the end of round 2.

Moreover, Kelvin Gastelum will be looking to bounce back from his welterweight return setback against Daniel Rodriguez coming off a doping suspension. Johnny Walker will be facing Volkan Oezdemir, a former title challenger, in a light heavyweight bout.

The undefeated Sharabutdin Magomedov will compete against Ihor Potieria in a middleweight bout. Magomedov recently revealed that he obtained a US Visa, but it did not seem to matter. Also on the card is a lightweight bout between Nasrat Haqparast and Jared Gordon.

What do you think of the fight card of UFC Saudi Arabia? Leave your thoughts below!

Aramis

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A free spirited human being with a passion for combat sports.

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