Robert Whittaker Open to Khamzat Chimaev Fight

Robert Whittaker secured a first-round knockout victory over Ikram Aliskerov at UFC Saudi Arabia, prompting his originally scheduled opponent, Khamzat Chimaev, to respond on social media and express interest in a future bout.

Robert Whittaker picked up a crucial win in the main event of UFC Saudi Arabia. He faced a dangerous opponent, and shortly after, his originally scheduled opponent, Khamzat Chimaev, responded.

Whittaker scored a first-round knockout of Ikram Aliskerov—Chimaev’s replacement. The undefeated Chimaev commented on the result via social media soon after.

“Поздравляю @robwhittakermma мы не закончили дело! Желаю скорейшего восстановления @ikram_aliskerov выше голову брат мой ☝,” tweeted Chimaev.

“Congratulations [Robert Whittaker], we are not done,” Chimaev said, according to a Google translation on Twitter. “I wish you a speedy recovery [Ikram Aliskerov], keep your head up my brother.”

Speaking with reporters after his second consecutive victory, Whittaker was asked about Chimaev’s comments. He laughed it off but also had a message for Chimaev.

“Don’t jump me as soon as I finish a fight,” Whittaker said during the evening’s post-fight press conference. “I don’t want people to do that — I say that, but I probably did that once or twice as well. Let me have this one for a little bit, all right? We can settle the score another day.”

Chimaev had to withdraw from the matchup against Whittaker after falling ill less than two weeks before the UFC’s first trip to Saudi Arabia. It would have been Chimaev’s first fight of the year and first since his majority decision win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 this past October.

In his post-fight interview, Whittaker expressed interest in being a backup for the UFC 305 middleweight championship headliner between Dricus du Plessis and Israel Adesanya. When asked if he would compete on that card against a different opponent in Perth, Whittaker says he needs to have some conversations before making that decision.

“It’s on home soil, I plan to be there one way or another,” Whittaker said. “But I do need to go back and talk to my team. I need to talk to my team about it. We’ve got to work on the other guys who are preparing. I took this fight and it sort pushed a lot of things around. I want to go back and talk to my team.”

“Perth, it’s in my home turf. But, yeah, let me talk to my team.”


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