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Aliskerov Replaces Chimaev, Meets Whittaker in New UFC Saudi Arabia Headliner



The timing was right for Ikram Aliskerov.

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Originally scheduled to face Antonio Trocoli at UFC on ESPN 58 on Saturday, Aliskerov will instead get a much more high-profile booking when he faces Robert Whittaker at UFC on ABC 6 in Saudi Arabia on June 22. The change was necessitated when Khamzat Chimaev was forced to withdraw from the event. UFC CEO Dana White announced the new headliner —while adding that Chimaev was “violently ill” — on Thursday.

UFC on ABC 6 takes place at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and will also see Sergei Pavlovich square off against Alexander Volkov in the heavyweight co-main event.

Aliskerov’s lone defeat in 16 professional outings came against Chimaev at Brave Combat Federation 23 in April 2019. He has won seven consecutive fights since then — including two within the Las Vegas-based promotion. Most recently, the 31-year-old Dagestani stopped Warlley Alves in the opening stanza of their encounter at UFC 294. Aliskerov has finished his last three opponents inside of a round.

Whittaker, meanwhile, is coming off a unanimous decision triumph over Paulo Costa at UFC 298 this past February. That victory allowed the former middleweight king to rebound from a second-round TKO defeat to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290.

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