Chimaev Backed To Dismantle Whittaker At UFC Saudi – ‘I’m A Real Big Believer’

May 19, 2024
1 month
Chimaev Backed To Dismantle Whittaker At UFC Saudi

Khamzat Chimaev will face Robert Whittaker in the first UFC event in Saudi Arabia on June 22. 

Chimaev is undefeated, having beaten Kamaru Usman via a majority decision last year at UFC 294. The win took him closer to his dream of becoming a UFC Middleweight Champion. Whittaker has already won the belt previously. He defeated Paulo Costa in his last fight at UFC 298 to secure the big Saudi fight. 

Card

Middleweight: Khamzat Chimaev vs Robert Whittaker 

Heavyweight: Sergei Pavlovich vs Alexander Volkov 

Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs Volkan Oezdemir 

Welterweight: Kelvin Gastelum vs Daniel Rodriguez 

Middleweight: Sharabutdin Magomedov vs Ihor Potieria

Chimaev will help sell the event easily. He is a Muslim fighting in the Middle East, which will naturally draw in a big crowd. He is also undefeated and has a style that entertains fans. In his seven wins, he has stopped the five of his opponents before the distance. Anthony Smith, who is coming off a win over Vitor Petrino at UFC 301, backed Chimaev to rise to the top of the division. 

Chimaev’s Rise

“I’m a real big believer in Khamzat, I really am, I think the guy’s incredible but if we’re just being critical, first round, I think Khamzat can beat anybody across any weight class, I don’t…[care] who it is. Anybody in the world he can beat in the first round. We start getting into the second, third, fourth, fifth… the Gilbert Burns fight is kind of a perfect example. If that fight goes another two rounds.

“Better example is the Kamaru Usman fight. You don’t see people doing to Kamaru Usman what Khamzat did. Usman had built his career on being a ridiculous wrestler and he got tossed around like a rag doll in that fight but he had the toughness, the durability and all the experience to get out of it and into round two and he kind of closed the gap again a little bit and then in round three, he was winning the fight,” Smith said 

UFC In Saudi

Depending on the success of this card, there could be bigger things to come in Saudi. Turki Alalshikh recently signed a deal with Dana White to produce more events this year and beyond. The deal also includes an arrangement to bring Power Slap to the Kingdom. It is hoped that it will lead to the same success that boxing has had since the influence of the Saudis. They have put on the Undisputed Heavyweight Fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. They will also do this for Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol, who will fight for the Undisputed Light Heavyweight Championship. Moving forward, Alalshikh has big plans. 

“This is the first card in our country and it is good, but we want more. The last time I saw Dana in New York, we discussed and finished a deal with a big card at the end of this year or the beginning of [2025] in Riyadh, more [big by] two or three times than this card,” Alalshikh stated 

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