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Israel Adesanya expects Robert Whittaker to 'run through' Ikram Aliskerov

On Saturday, the UFC will hold the fight promotion’s debut event in Saudi Arabia.  A middleweight bout between former champion Robert Whittaker and Ikram Aliskerov.  Whittaker was originally slated to face 11th-ranked Khamzat Chimaev in the headlining bout but Chimaev was forced to withdrawal due to illness.  

Whittaker (25-7) will enter the fight coming off a decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298 in February.  Aliskerov (15-1) is riding a seven-fight winning streak with his only career loss coming to Chimaev.  Former two-time middleweight champion Israel Adesanya believes Whittaker is going to ‘beat the breaks off’ Aliskerov.    

“He (Aliskerov) already fought Khamzat and lost to Khamzat by knockout.  But, good wrestler,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel.  “Rob, he was ready to wrestle for this fight anyway, so the wrestling is going to be f***ing top tier in this fight I think.”

“I like this fight.  It’s a banger of a fight,” Adesanya continued.  “But also, this guy (Aliskerov), who did he last beat?  Warlley Alves.  Big step up in competition, though, against Rob.  Rob, a former champion, still on a hunt, still dangerous.  I’m picking Rob in this fight.  I think Rob’s going to beat the brakes off this guy.”

“We haven’t seen him (Aliskerov) against competition like this yet.  I just know how good Rob is, so I’m going to go Rob probably (round) three or four (by) TKO.”    

Adesanya hasn’t fought since losing the title to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last September.  He recently inked a bout agreement to fight champion Dricus Du Plessis in the UFC 305 main event on Aug. 18 in Perth, Australia.  He’ll have the opportunity to become a three-time middleweight titleholder.      

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