UPDATE: Khamzat Chimaev has pulled out of the UFC Saudi Arabia main event, with Ikram Aliskerov being named his replacement. You can read our Whittaker vs. Aliskerov preview here.

Our Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev prediction is that the UFC Saudi Arabia main event is going to be a hell of a fight. UFC odds confirm our suspicion, suggesting that we’re in for a real battle inside the octagon on June 22.

Still, bookies do favor Chimaev to win. In this betting preview, we’re going to analyze why they think so and explain why (or why not) you should listen to them.

Before Betting on Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev UFC Saudi Arabia Fight

The Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev UFC Saudi Arabia fight is one of the most important bouts in the career of both fighters. This is a UFC Middleweight title eliminator fight, meaning that one of these guys will get to fight the defending champ Dricus du Plessis for the championship belt.

For Whittaker, this is a chance to fight for the title again that he used to hold from 2017 to 2019 when he lost it to Israel Adesanya. He had a chance to get his revenge in 2022 but Izzy beat him again.

He bounced back after that loss with a win over Marvin Vettori. Then, he lost to du Plessis, but bounced back yet again with a win over Paulo Costa earlier this year.

Obviously, he’s fought the who’s who of the middleweight division, which isn’t the case with his next opponent. Khamzat Chimaev is 13-0 and it’s because he picks his fights carefully.

In his previous fight, he won by a majority decision against Kamaru Usman, who made his middleweight debut in that fight after years spent in the division below (welterweight). Before that, he beat Kevin Holland in a catchweight fight.

Originally, Chimaev was supposed to fight Nate Diaz, but he was 7.5 pounds over the weight limit for the welterweight division, so the UFC found him a new opponent.

And before that fight, we saw one of Chimaev’s least dominant performances of his entire career. It’s the fight with Gilbert Burns we’re talking about, which lasted for three rounds, with Chimaev gassing out in the final one.

Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev Offshore Odds & Pick

Offshore SportsbookRobert WhittakerKhamzat Chimaev

In each of his last four fights, Chimaev fought against fighters who are natural welterweights. The last time he fought a real middleweight was in 2020 when he beat Gerald Meerschaert by a KO. But Meerschaert is nowhere near as good as Chimaev’s next opponent.

Sure, the Chechen is a better wrestler than Whittaker, but the Kiwi fighter should be able to keep him at a distance with his superb striking. In fact, we believe that Whittaker’s striking is so good that he might even finish Chimaev with a knockout.

Pick: Robert Whittaker (+200)