Khamzat Chimaev vs Robert Whittaker set as main event at UFC Saudi Arabia debut on June 22

UFC President Dana White at Village Theater on September 8^ 2012 in Westwood^ CA

Middleweights Khamzat Chimaev and Robert Whittaker will headline the first UFC event ever held in Saudi Arabia. UFC president Dana White announced the news in a video on Instagram and X along with the caption:P “BOOOOOOM!!!!!! UFC is heading to Saudi Arabia for the first time with a BAD ASS card, headlined by Whittaker vs Chimaev LIVE and FREE on ABC on June 22nd”

CBS Sports reports that the event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 2, was pushed to this summer after White said that the card they would have placed there wouldn’t have been up to UFC’s standards. The even will also be a ‘Fight Night’, airing on ABC in the United States, not PPV. The fights will be held at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city. Preliminary action will start at noon EDT on ESPN and ESPN+. The main-card broadcast is expected to start at 3 p.m. on ABC and ESPN+.

White shared in the video posted to social media: “Our first fight in the Kingdom will be a fight night that will air live and free on ABC. The main event will be former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (26-7) versus 13-0, undefeated Khamzat Chimaev to see who will be the No. 1 contender for the UFC middleweight championship … This card is going to be bad [expletive], from top to bottom. It’s going to be historic. It’s our first-ever show from the Kingdom.”

White added that the co-main event will feature No. 6-ranked heavyweight Alexander Volkov (37-10) and No. 3 Sergei Pavlovich (18-2). Kelvin Gastelum (18-9) will battle fellow welterweight Daniel Rodriguez (17-4) in another matchup. In addition, No. 7 light heavyweight Johnny Walker (21-8) also will meet No. 9 Volkan Oezdemir (19-7). Middleweight Ihor Potieria (20-5) will take on undefeated Shara Magomedov (12-0) in another fight on the card.


Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /