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Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is not afraid to tussle on the ground with Khamzat Chimaev when necessary.

Whittaker (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) takes on Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) in the UFC on ABC 6 main event June 22 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Chimaev has mauled numerous fighters on the ground – including Kamaru Usman in Round 1 of their UFC 294 fight. However, Whittaker doesn’t see Chimaev being able to do the same to him.

“He’s definitely got a really sound jiu-jitsu game, but he mixes it really well with his wrestling,” Whittaker told ESPN Australia. “I think what a lot of people aren’t ready for is the mixture of the two, making it really MMA-esque.

“Utilizing it up against the wall, using his strength with his long arms and tall frame to push his game plan on the fence, to push it to the ground. Whilst I definitely think he’s dangerous there, I’ve been grappling my entire life. I am very, very confident in my own skillsets. Even if it were a pure wrestling-jiu-jitsu format, I would hold my own if not get a W in that way too.”

With their fight being a five-round headliner, Whittaker knows he has the advantage there. He was able to outlast Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero twice in championship fights.

“I definitely think the goal, much like all of my other opponents, is just to go out there and fight my fight,” Whittaker said. “It’s about going out there and pushing my game plan onto him and see how he adjusts to me because I bring an arsenal of skillsets that he’s not ready for, I believe. I think the surest way to victory is to go in there, obviously not play to his strengths, which is not engaging in the wrestling but not be afraid of it.

“I can wrestle with the best of them, and I’ve shown and proved that. I’m going to go in there, and I’m going to fight my fight. I’m going to fight a standup fight. I’m going to see where it goes. I’m going to drag it out. It’s a five-round fight. I’ve been in plenty of those, and I’ve got no quit in me, so let’s see how this goes.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 6.

Author: Staff

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