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Unbeaten middleweight Khamzat Chimaev is out of next weekend’s scheduled fight with former 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker, it has been confirmed.

Chimaev has been scheduled to headline the card, which is set for the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia next Saturday, in what would have been just his third contest since September 2022. But in a message posted to social overnight by UFC CEO Dana White, he revealed that Chimaev had been “violently ill” and was incapable of appearing at the event next week.

It is the sixth time in his UFC career that Chimaev has withdrawn from a scheduled fight.

In his place against Whittaker will be the 15-1 Russian fighter Ikram Aliskerov; a four-time world champion in Combat Sambo whose sole MMA defeat came against — you guessed it — Khamzat Chimaev back in April 2019

After making his informal UFC debut as part of the Dana White Contender Series in September 2022, he has gone 2-0 on the official roster, scoring first-round finishes against Phil Hawes and Warlley Alves.