Robert Whittaker Fully Focused On Aliskerov Amid Chimaev Pull Out

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker may have lost out on a big fight against Khamzat Chimaev, but lucky for him Ikram Aliskerov stepped up on short notice at UFC Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.

“Not really worried about it too much in who I’m fighting. I’m here to fight,” Whittaker told reporters on Thursday.

“I was fit, I was ready, and this is how I provide for my family. Everyone knew I wanted to fight, I’m here, so I’m going to fight.”

Whittaker (25-7) chose to remain on the card taking the fight against Aliskerov instead of choosing to pull out and wait for another fight.

“Honestly by this stage in the camp all the work’s been done. I’m fit, I’m strong, I’m sharp. All the skills that I worked for Chimaev…no skill is wasted. No skill is useless. A lot of it can be used in this fight. I’m ready,” he said.

Chimaev and Aliskerov aren’t too similar in styles, but both bring tough challenges for Whittaker.

“They’re very different opponents. I think working the wrestling I did for Chimaev will definitely come into play into this fight. A big thing has been about us pushing the game plan onto our opponents, and that’s been kind of a constant throughout my career,” said Whittaker.

The stakes are still high in Saudi Arabia for Whittaker with a possible title on the line for the former champion, but it’s not his focus this weekend.

“The only sure thing in the UFC is that winning opens doors. My focus is solely on this Saturday night, getting my hand raised, and I’ll worry about the rest afterwards,” he said.

Watch the entire media day scrum with Robert Whittaker above. He headlines UFC Saudi Arabia against Ikram Aliskerov on Saturday night.