What’s Next: UFC Saudi Arabia Winners

Robert Whittaker UFC
Robert Whittaker, UFC 290 official weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Saturday’s UFC Saudi Arabia marked the promotion’s debut in the Kingdom, and the event did not go off without a hitch. Far from it. After being bumped back several months (reports at the time claimed the Saudis were unhappy with the quality of the event, something UFC CEO and President Dana White later denied), it landed in June, with Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev a highly-anticipated main event.

It wasn’t to be. Chimaev, along with a host of other fighters, withdrew from the event due to numerous issues, from illness to visa problems to drug test failures. What was left was a good, very good, but not great line-up, one that turned out to be uneven in the end, though the main card for the most part showed out.

What’s next for the winning side of UFC Saudi Arabia, including ex-middleweight champ Robert Whittaker? It’s matchmaker time.

Robert Whittaker

The Reaper is back! With his first finish since 2017 Whittaker proved himself still a dangerous threat, and has now set up a number one contender fight opportunity for himself. The likely opponent? Sean Strickland. Strickland’s win over Paulo Costa, and Rob’s over Costa and Aliskerov, will put him on a collision course with the Aussie.

The fight will likely take place at the upcoming UFC 305 event in Australia, set to be headlined by champ Dricus Du Plessis vs former champ Israel Adesanya. With the history Rob and Sean both have with the headliners, and Whittaker’s popularity in the country, the fight has to happen there.

Whittaker’s Next Fight: Sean Strickland