Khamzat Chimaev Is Out, Ikram Aliskerov Is In at UFC Saudi Arabia After ‘Borz’ Becomes ‘Violenty Ill’

Chimaev was forced to withdraw from his main event against Robert Whittaker on June 22 after suffering a medical emergency

Khamzat Chimaev
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Khamzat Chimaev is out. Ikram Aliskerov is in. 

It’s been a whirlwind month for the UFC thus far. Not only is the promotion in danger of losing its massive UFC 303 headliner between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler, but they also just lost their high-stakes headliner scheduled to go down a week earlier in Saudi Arabia. 

Originally, ‘Borz’ was expected to square off with former middleweight titleholder Robert Whittaker in a fight that had title eliminator written all over it. However, an unexpected medical emergency has forced the undefeated Chechen monster to withdraw. Australian MMA insider Benny P on X was the first to report the news. Since then, MMA Mania has confirmed with its sources that Chimaev is indeed out of the UFC’s debut in Riyadh.

Stepping in to take his place will be Ikram Aliskerov, a relative newcomer who will be making his third appearance with the promotion inside Kingdom Arena.

Aliskerov is sitting on a seven-fight win streak with his last three wins, including an appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, coming in the first round. The Russian was set to square off with Antonio Trócoli this Saturday (June 15) at UFC Vegas 93. Now, Trócoli will fight Gregory ‘Robocop’ Rodrigues in the evening’s co-main event. 

Dana White Reveals that Khamzat Chimaev Became ‘Violently Ill’

Chimaev’s coach, Mukhammad Eskirkhanov, shared an image of Chimaev in the hospital on his Instagram stories. UFC CEO Dana White also confirmed that ‘Borz’ was “violently ill” while announcing the latest shake-up on social media. 

It’s another unfortunate turn of events for the UFC in June and the drama seems to know no end. Not long after news broke of Chimaev’s withdrawal, MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani revealed that the UFC 303 co-main event between Jamahal Hill and Carlos Ulberg is now in jeopardy. 

Initially, Hill was expecting to face Khalil Rountree Jr. at the event until ‘The War Horse’ was flagged for a banned substance. The UFC is now searching for a replacement opponent and may propel another yet-to-be-announced fight into the co-main event. 

“In addition to working on a new main for 303, I’m told UFC is also looking at a new co-main for that card,” Helwani wrote on X. “The current co-main – Hill x Ulberg – might need a replacement now too, and if so it could get bumped down. One new fight that has been discussed – not for the main – is Brian Ortega x Diego Lopes.”

Published on June 13, 2024 at 8:03 pm
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