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Robert Whittaker knocks Ikram Aliskerov out in UFC Saudi Arabia main event

 A middleweight clash between former champion Robert Whittaker and rising prospect Ikram Aliskerov headlined the UFC’s first event in Saudi Arabia.

Whittaker was originally slated to face 11th-ranked Khamzat Chimaev in the headlining bout but Chimaev was forced to withdrawal due to illness. Whittaker entered the fight coming off a decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298 in February. Aliskerov was riding a seven-fight winning streak with his only career loss coming to Chimaev. 

The two touched gloves and Aliskerov came up short on a front kick.  Whittaker pressed forward with a jab.  Whittaker landed a leg kick but Aliskerov countered with a right hand.  Whittaker connected with his jab and Aliskerov reacted with a leg kick.  Whittaker connected with a right hand that wobbled Aliskerov.  He barely missed with a head kick.  A uppercut dropped the Dagestan fighter.  A few left hands ended the fight forcing referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight.  The official time of the finish was 1:49 of the first round.  

“I told you.  I told everybody.  I’m the boogeyman.  I’m the best in the world and I’m the most dangerous matchup for anyone in the division,” Whittaker said in his post-fight interview.  “I’m the most dangerous middleweight in the world.  I’ll take a fight anywhere, anytime, and I proved it tonight.  I’ll prove it again.  I’ll fight anyone.”      

   

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