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Robert Whittaker’s coach hopes he can emulate some of the success Gilbert Burns had vs. Khamzat Chimaev.

Whittaker (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) will look to hand Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) the first loss of his career when they square off in the UFC on ABC 6 main event June 22 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Burns gave Chimaev arguably the toughest test of his career when they fought in a welterweight bout at UFC 273 in April 2022. Chimaev was outstruck by Burns, but ultimately outlasted him in an all-out war.

Whittaker’s head coach Alex Prates says they must match Chimaev’s pace from the get go.

“The two last fights, especially ‘Durinho,’ the Gilbert Burns fight, I need to thank him for the blueprint,” Prates told Sherdog. “I watched the fight so many times. I think he gave a very clear path to victory by starting hard, be very aggressive from the guard, be very aggressive standing.

“In the fight with Kamaru Usman – and I’m sure Usman is thinking this now – if he could go back and start that fight at a higher pace, he would. This is the mistake that we don’t want to do at all. We’re going to start hard. He starts 100 percent, we start 110 percent.”

Whittaker is coming off an entertaining, back-and-forth win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298. If the former middleweight champion is able to drag Chimaev into deep waters, his coach is confident that he can get the finish.

“When it becomes a dog fight, I don’t see anyone beating Robert in this division – anyone,” Prates said. “But if I was a gambling man, which I’m not, third-round technical knockout, Robert Whittaker.”

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

Author: Staff

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