Israel Adesanya Expects Robert Whittaker to ‘Beat the Brakes’ Off Ikram Aliskerov in Saudi Arabia

'The Last Stylebender' offered his prediction for the recently revamped UFC Saudi Arabia headliner on June 22

Israel Adesanya
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Israel Adesanya believes Robert Whittaker will “beat the brakes” off Ikram Aliskerov.

Headlining the UFC’s highly anticipated debut in Saudi Arabia, ‘The Reaper’ will put his No. 3 ranking on the line when he meets streaking middleweight standout Ikram Aliskerov. Originally, Whittaker was expected to go toe-to-toe with undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev in a fight that had title eliminator written all over it. Unfortunately, ‘Borz’ became “violently ill” in the days leading up to the fight, forcing him to bow out.

That paved the way for Aliskerov to sign on the dotted line for the biggest fight of his MMA career thus far. 

Breaking down the festivities in Riyadh, former two-time Robert Whittaker opponent, Israel Adesanya, offered his prediction for Saturday’s main event matchup.

“This is a banger of a fight. It’s a big step up in competition though [for Aliskerov]. Rob is a former champion,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “Still on the hunt, still dangerous. I’m picking Rob in this fight. I think Robert is going to beat the brakes off this guy from round two onwards. I think Rob gets past round one and starts to put it on this guy, but who knows? We haven’t seen [Aliskerov] against competition like this yet.

“I just know how good Rob is so I’m gonna go Rob probably in [round] three or four by TKO.”

Will Robert Whittaker Still Have to Chance to Fight the Winner of DDP vs. Israel Adesanya?

Whittaker goes into the contest having won two of his last three fights, including a dominant unanimous decision victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 298.

Since 2014, ‘The Reaper’ has only lost to two men inside the Octagon, Israel Adesanya and current 185-pound king Dricus Du Plessis. 

Initially, it was believed that a win over Chimaev would net Whittaker a shot at the winner of Du Plessis vs. Adesanya—scheduled to go down on August 18 when the UFC heads back to Perth, Australia—but it’s unclear if the New Zealander will still score himself a title opportunity with a win over the unranked Aliskerov. 

Published on June 18, 2024 at 10:04 pm
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