UFC Hall of Famer: Robert Whittaker Could Be "Kryptonite" for Khamzat Chimaev

One of the greatest fighters in UFC history believes Robert Whittaker has the tools to hand Khamzat Chimaev his first loss. 
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Following a scrapped event that was scheduled for March, the UFC will make its first trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 22 with a UFC Fight Night card headlined by Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev. 

“Borz” is currently favored to defeat Whittaker when the pair meet, but UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre recently explained why he believes Chimaev will face a huge test against the former middleweight champion. 

“If there’s a guy who can stop Chimaev, it’s Robert Whittaker,” St-Pierre told Australia's Main Event TV. “If you look at Chimaev, we can compare [him] in a way to Yoel Romero. Where Romero was a very good wrestler, very explosive and powerful guy, and Whittaker was the kryptonite [for] Yoel Romero…So stylistically, he’s very capable of doing the same to Chimaev.”

Whittaker handed Yoel Romero his first UFC loss at UFC 213 to claim the interim middleweight belt, and “The Reaper” also prevailed in their rematch the following year when he took a hard-fought split decision over the Cuban. 

Chimaev proved that he’s capable of grappling with the best the UFC has to offer when he defeated former welterweight king Kamaru Usman at UFC 294, and ahead of the Whittaker fight the 29-year-old appears to be working hard to round out his striking game. 

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A post shared by Khamzat Chimaev (@khamzat_chimaev)

A win in Saudi Arabia could put Whittaker or Chimaev in line for a middleweight title shot, although recent rumors suggest the UFC might be eyeing a matchup between current titleholder Dricus Du Plessis and two-time champion Israel Adesanya as the main event for UFC 305 in Perth, Australia. 

Whittaker has other ideas, "I’m going to earn this win," he told Demetrious Johnson. "and this puts me in perfect direction for a title shot and condition for a title shot, which has always been the goal.”

It's a tricky predicament for the Aussie fighter, who has lost to two of the division's top-three fighters in Du Plessis and Adesanya (twice). However, the proven path to success for many down-on-their-luck fighters has been to tackle the bona fide boogeyman of their weight class --- and Whittaker is doing just that when he faces "Borz" in Saudi Arabia.

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Mathew Riddle