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Robert Whittaker will attempt to ram home his credentials as the next title challenger in the middleweight division when he faces Khamzat Chimaev at the maiden UFC event in Saudi Arabia. 

‘The Reaper’ will meet the imposing unbeaten star in a headline bout on Sunday, June 23 (AEST) with the winner assured to be the number one contender for the belt currently held by Dricus du Plessis. 

Who is Robert Whittaker fighting next?

On the same day when UFC CEO Dana White revealed the promotion would be returning to Whittaker’s home country of Australia for UFC 305, the former champion’s next opponent was also revealed. 

MORE: UFC 305 – Promotion announces return to Perth later this year

Amidst the scramble for potential bouts in Perth, Whittaker was viewed as an ideal candidate to be on the card following his impressive win over Paulo Costa last month. 

However, the idea he would finally feature on a slate in Western Australia – a place where he has had two fights cancelled in the past – was quickly snuffed out with the announcement of his meeting with Chimaev. 

“We’ll be going to Saudi Arabia for our first fight in the Kingdom with a Fight Night,” White said on social media. 

“The main event will be former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker versus 13-0 Khamzat Chimaev to see who will be the number one contender for the UFC middleweight championship.”

Chimaev saw his rise to the top of the sport slowed slightly last year as he stepped inside the octagon just once due to injury and illness. 

In that appearance though against former champ Kamaru Usman, the 29-year-old emerged with a majority decision victory. 

Currently, Whittaker is sat behind Sean Strickland and Israel Adesanya as the third-ranked contender in the division. 

UFC Fight Night Saudi Arabia: Who else is fighting? 

Before Whittaker and Chimaev clash in a title eliminator, there will also be plenty of other intriguing bouts to enjoy. 

In the co-main event, Sergei Pavlovich and Alexander Volkov will go toe-to-toe with Pavlovich hoping to bounce back to winning ways after he brutally lost an interim title fight to Tom Aspinall at UFC 295. 

Elsewhere, Kelvin Gastelum and Daniel Rodriguez will meet in a welterweight match-up, while Johnny Walker will face Volkan Oezdemir. 



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