Khamzat Chimaev issues first statement since UFC Saudi Arabia withdrawal due to illness

Khamzat Chimaev issues first statement since UFC Saudi Arabia withdrawal due to illness

Khamzat Chimaev issued his first statement since withdrawing from his UFC Saudi Arabia headliner against Robert Whittaker.

On Saturday night, June 22, ‘Borz’ was scheduled to step inside the Octagon for a potential title eliminator with the former middleweight world champion in Riyadh. Sadly, that is no longer on the docket after Chimaev became “violently ill,” forcing him out of the contest.

Recently, Chimaev took to social media and offered his first public comment on the dramatic turn of events.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Khamzat Chimaev (@khamzat_chimaev)

“We always plan something but Allah has his own plans for us,” Chimaev wrote on Instagram.

Borz’ has not competed since a majority decision victory over former welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.

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Khamzat Chimaev

ikran Aliskerov steps in for khamzat chimaev

Stepping in his place at the Kingdom Arena will be Ikram Aliskerov, who will be making his third walk to the Octagon after a pair of highlight-reel finishes against Phil Hawes and Warlley Alves in 2023. Aliskerov enters the bout sitting on a seven-fight win streak and could thrust himself from outside of the rankings into the middleweight top five should he score the upset against Robert Whittaker.

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Despite stepping in on two weeks’ notice, Aliskerov is only a +124 underdog, meaning a $100 bet on the Russian could bank you a payout of $124.

With a win over Khamzat Chimaev, ‘The Reaper’ likely would have earned him another shot at the 185-pound crown, once Dricus Du Plessis and Israel Adesanya settle their business in The Land Down Under. With Aliskerov being unranked, it’s unclear if Whittaker will still earn the opportunity.

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Robert Whittaker