UFC Makes Saudi Debut: Whittaker Beats Aliskerov

UFC disembarked with its first event in Saudi Arabia, a partnership between Dana White and Turki Al-Sheikh that promises to bring great evenings to the Middle East. The first event, however, was somewhat lackluster and seemed “cursed” since Khamzat Chimaev’s sudden absence. But Robert Whittaker (26-7) did not disappoint, winning with a impressive KO against Aliskerov (15-2), who could not surprise after the short notice.

Whittaker, who is once again vying for the middleweight title, took home one of the night’s bonuses. The rest went to Shara ‘Bullet’ Magomedov (13-0), Volkan Oezdemir (20-7), and Felipe Lima (13-1). The Brazilian shone brightly in his debut against Tajik Naimov.

It was surprising, however, that Alexander Volkov (38-10) did not receive a bonus despite his dominant victory in the co-main event against Pavlovich in a Russian heavyweight duel.

The UFC will return this weekend with UFC 303, featuring a highly anticipated light heavyweight title fight between Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka.

UFC Fight Night in Saudi Arabia results

  • Main Event: Robert Whittaker defeats Ikram Aliskerov via KO at 1:49 of Round 1
  • Co-Main Event: Alexander Volkov defeats Sergei Pavlovich by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Kelvin Gastelum defeats Daniel Rodríguez by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Shara Magomedov defeats Antonio Trocoli by KO (punches) at 2:27 of Round 3
  • Volkan Oezdemir defeats Johnny Walker by KO at 2:28 of Round 1
  • Nasrat Haqparast defeats Jared Gordon by split decision (29-28)
  • Felipe Lima defeats Muhammad Naimov by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:15 of Round 3
  • Rinat Fakhretdinov defeats Nicolas Dalby by split decision (29-28)
  • Muin Gafurov defeats Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Magomed Gadzhiyasuov defeats Brendson Ribeiro by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
  • ChangHo Lee defeats Xiao Long by split decision (29-28)
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