Robert Whittaker ‘Very Confident’ His Grappling Skills Are Better Than Khamzat Chimaev, Reveals Gameplan For ‘Borz’

"The Reaper" thinks his ground game could match and beat "Borz."

Robert Whittaker Talks Khamzat Chimaev
Robert Whittaker Talks Khamzat Chimaev - Image credit @khamzat_chimaev Instagram @ESPN Australia Youtube
  • Robert Whittaker believes he could dominate Khamzat Chimaev on the ground
  • “The Reaper” aims to capitalize on his advantage in terms of cardio and keep the fight on the feet as much as possible

Robert Whittaker is certain he could get the better of Khamzat Chimaev in grappling but he plans to keep the fight on the feet.

Robert sees no problem on the ground

Speaking to ESPN Australia ahead of his showdown with Chimaev, “The Reaper” acknowledged the fact that “Borz” has a reputable wrestling resume. However, Whittaker thinks he got the high-level grappling to match and even beat it.

“He’s definitely got a sound jiu-jitsu game, but he mixes it really well with his wrestling.  I think what a lot of people aren’t ready for is the mixture of the two, making it really MMA-esque,” Whittaker said.  “While I definitely think he’s dangerous there, I’ve been grappling my entire life.  I am very, very confident in my own skill sets.  Even if it were a pure wrestling-jiu-jitsu format, I would hold my own if not get a W in that way too.”

Despite being aware of Chimaev’s arsenal, Whittaker insists that his “goal” is to not adjust to his opponent’s fight. Instead, the former middleweight champ plans to do the other way around and get the job done in a stand up fight as much as possible.

“I definitely think the goal, much like all of my other opponents, is just to go out there and fight my fight. It’s about going out there and push my game plan onto him and see how he adjusts to me because I bring an arsenal of skill sets that he’s not ready for, I believe. I’m going to go in there and I’m going to fight my fight,” Whittaker pointed out.

“I’m going to fight a stand up fight. I’m going to see where it goes.  I’m going to drag it out.  It’s a five-round fight.  I’ve been in plenty of those and I’ve got no quit in me, so let’s see how this goes,” he continued. 

Robert thinks his five-round experiences is an advantage

Chimaev remains unbeaten but he has never gone to a five-round battle. For Whittaker, it’s also one of the things he could exploit come fight night.

“I do think the fact that I have experience in 25-minute fights, the fact that I’ve been able to take fights, hard fights, the length of 25 minutes, it’s different.  Anyone that has done it, who’s had a hard fight for the five rounds understands how different it really is and even the prep going into it,” Whittaker explained.

“Now, whilst I think I have an advantage with experience and just tenure being able to do that, I expect him, especially because everyone is saying the same.  The story being said across the board is that ‘Khamzat falls off.  Khamzat’s tired.  Khamzat gases.’  We can only assume especially because it’s a five-round fight, we can only assume that he’s doing everything in his power to come in efficiently pace himself and going to be good for the entire 25-minutes. I’m expecting a Khamzat that can go 25, but you would think, just on paper, that that’s an advantage on my side,” he added.

Whittaker vs. Chimaev will take place on June 22 at UFC Saudi. The fight will determine who truly deserves to be the next middleweight title contender.

Both fighters are coming off impressive wins. Chimaev beat Kamaru Usman via majority decision at UFC 294, while Whittaker dominated Paulo Costa to a decision win at UFC 298.

Watch Whittaker’s full video below:

Published on May 1, 2024 at 10:42 am
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