'Violently ill' Khamzat Chimaev out of UFC event in Saudi Arabia

AFP / Giuseppe Cacace

Due to an illness, middleweight Khamzat Chimaev won't compete in the main event against Robert Whittaker at the UFC's debut in Saudi Arabia on June 22, with Ikram Aliskerov taking his place.

UFC CEO Dana White announced the lineup change in a social media video on Thursday, saying Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) was "violently ill" and unable to participate in the event.

Aliskerov (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was slated to face Antonio Trocoli on Saturday in UFC's co-main event in Las Vegas but will instead take on Whitaker (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC).

Chimaev, 30, picked up just three wins over months when he debuted in 2020 but has had one fight in the last two years. He picked up a majority decision last October over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294.

A win over Whittaker, the former champion, would have likely given Chimaev a shot at the title.

Before White announced Chimaev's withdrawal, Whitaker posted on social media that he was prepared to take on "anyone, anywhere, anytime."

More from Sports News