UFC Saudi Arabia Full Fight Card Predictions

Full predictions for UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Aliskerov this weekend.

UFC Saudi Arabia is one to watch this weekend.

UFC Saudi Arabia Preview: Best Fights, Odds for Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov

Despite the late-notice replacement of Khamzat Chimaev in the main event, fans get something almost as good with the promising return of Ikram Aliskerov. Saudi Arabia also gets a dynamite co-main event with Sergei Pavlovich.

There are plenty of 50/50 fights, and some live dogs on the card. MMAKnockout's Mat Riddle is here to provide quick-fire predictions for the fight night (all opinion-based).

UFC Saudi Arabia Full Card Predictions

Xiao Long vs. Chang Ho Lee

Xiao Long isn't afraid to fight an ugly fight; he's aggressive with takedowns and maintains good control. He possesses over three times the fighting experience of Chang Ho Lee. Lee has shown he can be controlled, and I believe a fighter like Long can control him for the full duration. (Pick: Long)

Magomed Gadzhiyasulov vs. Brendson Ribeiro

Gadzhiyasulov leaves his chin in the air and can be lazy in his striking entries. I reckon Ribeiro has a real chance despite the betting odds, but his striking is just as unrefined. He doesn't defend his hips, and he can be controlled on the ground. (Pick: Ghadzhiyasulov)

UFC: Ikram Aliskerov Questions Robert Whittaker's Claim He "Hadn't Heard of Him"

Muin Gafurov vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Gafurov is an imposing bantamweight with real finishing power. I don't think he'll rush to mistakes like he did against Said Nurmagomedov in his last fight. Riding a two fight losing streak, he should be more reserved and calculated. Kang probably won't be able to stand and trade with Gafurov, and If it goes to the ground I imagine Gafurov's physicality will pay dividends. (Pick: Gafurov)

Rinat Fakhretdinov vs. Nicolas Dalby

Although I rate Fakhretdinov in this fight based on his recent foray into professional grappling, I can't underestimate Dalby. Dalby has one of the best gas tanks at welterweight and is insanely durable. I wouldn't be surprised if Fakhretdinov finished the fight early, but I will risk picking Dalby to grind out a win. (Pick: Dalby)

Muhammad Naimov vs. Felipe Lima

Although Lima is an incredibly talented OKTAGON champion, I think he's super undersized at bantamweight. He'll be forfeiting three inches in height and will definitely have a weight disadvantage come fight night. With these factors, paired with Naimov being a legitimately good contender, I pick Naimov. (Pick: Naimov)

Nasrat Haqparast vs. Jared Gordon

This is another one that comes down to athleticism. Haqparast is one inch taller than Gordon and seven years younger. He has a longer frame and hits much harder. I believe Haqparast's footwork and boxing will give Gordon difficulty moving into range. Gordon is an MMA veteran, though, I wouldn't put it past him to pull something out of the bag. (Pick: Haqparast)

Johnny Walker vs. Volkan Oezdemir

More power to Oezdemir if he can pull this off. 'No Time' is much slower than he used to be and appears quite vulnerable on the feet. By contrast, Walker looked pretty good against Magomed Ankalaev and Anthony Smith. Walker is the bigger man, less weathered, and insanely athletic. He's the safe choice. (Pick: Walker)

Shara Magomedov vs. Joilton Lutterbach

Magomedov shouldn't be this big of a favorite with his milquetoast debut against Bruno Silva last year. That said, Lutterbach is as game as they come, but from clips I've seen, his striking can be labored and leaves him open to savvy counter strikers like Magomedov. (Pick: Magomedov)

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez

This comes down to whoever is the better boxer. I think despite his lengthy career Gastelum is in a better place than Rodriguez right now. He looked good against Chris Curtis, arguably defeating him, and he has some real pop in his hands. Rodriguez's time at the top was short-lived, and he's shown the susceptibility to getting cracked. All this, paired with Gastelum's granite chin makes me lean Gastelum. (Pick: Gastelum)

Alexander Volkov vs. Sergei Pavlovich Prediction

Volkov might be the biggest live underdog on the card - metaphorically speaking. We all know Pavlovich is going to come storming out of the gates, but for the first time in his UFC career he'll be fighting a heavyweight with one key skill: Teeps. Pavlovich isn't one for kicking, he choses to enter range biting down on his mouthguard and throwing looping hooks.

I will be risky here and pick Volkov to tame Pavlovich at range with his kicks, and beat him to the punch with straight shots down the middle. I believe Volkov hasn't reached his full potential yet; he's still filling out his giant frame and still getting stronger. (Pick: Volkov)

Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov Prediction

I have another controversial pick here. I do firmly believe Whittaker is a top of the pile middleweight, but recently all of his fights have been uphill battles. 'The Reaper' struggled in bouts with Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Paulo Costa. His defeat to Dricus du Plessis also doesn't bode well, since Aliskerov looks like a better straight puncher.

My heart says Whittaker, but I'm choosing Aliskerov, buying into his dominant record which only includes one loss five years ago to Khamzat Chimaev. (Pick: Aliskerov)

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Mathew Riddle


Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist  and graphic designer. He joined MMAKO when it was first founded in 2023. Find his work on The Fight Fanatic & Heavy on UFC. He can be contacted on mr@thefightfanatic.com