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UFC Saudi Arabia: Khamzat Chimaev ”violently ill” – cancels main event



Khamzat Chimaev UFC MMA Maximum Sports

Khamzat Chimaev has fallen “violently ill” and has pulled out of his main event bout against Robert Whittaker at UFC Saudi Arabia.

UFC CEO Dana White broke the news on social media, announcing that “Borz” Chimaev will not be able to compete on June 22. Instead, Ikram Aliskerov will replace Chimaev and take on Whittaker in the newly booked main event.

Chimaev’s manager, Majdi Shammas, released a statement on Instagram, revealing that Chimaev has been dealing with illness throughout his camp. According to Shammas, Chimaev has been in and out of the hospital several times.

– “The persistent illness that Khamzat has been battling for major parts of training camp could not be cured in time,” Majdi Shammas wrote. “He has been in and out of hospitals several times. The condition has been kept within the team, since everyone has been absolutely committed to finding a solution. Although all available options have been thoroughly considered, it has now come to a point where the team has mutually agreed that it is not possible to carry on like this. Stepping into the cage not properly prepared against such a formidable opponent as Robert is unfortunately impossible.”


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Ett inlägg delat av Majdi Shammas (@majdishammas)

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Chimaev’s teammate Guram Kutateladze posted a picture on Instagram where he was by Khamzat’s side in the hospital. It is unclear if the picture was taken recently or from another occasion when Khamzat was hospitalized, as referenced in Shammas’s post.

The bout between Chimaev and Whittaker was intended to determine the next title challenger in the middleweight division. Dricus Du Plessis will most likely defend his belt against Israel Adesanya, but there is no clear-cut contender after that title bout.

Here is the updated fight card ahead of UFC Saudi Arabia on June 22:

  • Middleweight: Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov
  • Heavyweight: Sergei Pavlovich vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs. Volkan Oezdemir
  • Welterweight: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez
  • Middleweight: Sharabutdin Magomedov vs. Joilton Lutterbach
  • Featherweight: Muhammad Naimov vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan

Preliminary card

  • Light Heavyweight: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov vs. Brendson Ribeiro
  • Bantamweight: Farid Basharat vs. Montel Jackson
  • Middleweight: Abu Azaitar vs. Denis Tiuliulin
  • Welterweight: Rinat Fakhretdinov vs. Nicolas Dalby
  • Lightweight: Nasrat Haqparast vs. Jared Gordon
  • Bantamweight: Kang Kyung-ho vs. Muin Gafurov
  • Bantamweight: Xiao Long vs. Lee Chang-ho