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UFC Saudi Arabia fight card: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Robert Whittaker set as main event for debut in country

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A middleweight title eliminator is headed for Saudi Arabia. UFC CEO Dana White announced late Wednesday night that Khamzat Chimaev and Robert Whittaker will battle it out in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Saudi Arabia on June 22. In addition, four more bouts for the card were revealed, including a heavyweight co-main event between Sergei Pavlovich and Alexander Volkov.

The event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 2, was pushed to the summer when White said that they didn’t believe the card they would have placed there would have been up to UFC’s standards. It will be a Fight Night, which means it will air on ABC in the United States, not PPV. It marks the first event to be held in Saudi Arabia.

Chimaev has long been considered one of the top title contenders in the sport. He outpointed former champion Kamaru Usman last October in Usman’s 185-pound debut. Chimaev (13-0) has competed at both welterweight and middleweight in his seven UFC appearances.

Whittaker refuses to go away at the top of the middleweight division. Despite a TKO loss to new champ Dricus du Plessis last July, Whittaker has turned away just about every rising contender at 185 pounds over the last five years. He bounced back from the loss to du Plessis with a unanimous decision over Paulo Costa in February.

Other fights announced for the event include Kelvin Gastelum taking on Daniel Rodriguez at welterweight, Johnny Walker battling Volkan Oezdemir at light heavyweight and Sharabutdin Magomedov vs. Ihor Potiera also at 205 pounds.

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