1 best and worst bet at UFC Saudi Arabia

Here's who fans should be paying attention to, or avoiding if they plan on betting on UFC Saudi Arabia.
Robert Whittaker
Robert Whittaker / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The UFC's debut in Saudi Arabia is yet another opportunity to turn a profit with the right bets. With Robert Whittaker taking on Ikram Aliskerov in the main event along with a stacked undercard and prelims, UFC Saudi Arabia has numerous matchups fight fans have been looking forward to for some time.

Let's take a look at the best and worst bet at UFC Saudi Arabia.

UFC Saudi Arabia best bet: Robert Whittaker -154

Robert Whittaker was originally scheduled to face off against No. 11 ranked middleweight Khamzat Chimaev in the main event at UFC Saudi Arabia. This highly anticipated matchup for what could have been a fight to determine the next number one contender at 185 pounds was canceled due to a Chimaev illness. Luckily for the UFC and fight fans around the world, Ikram Aliskerov was willing to step up in place of Chimaev.

Aliskerov is a several time world champion in combat sambo, 15-1 as a professional mixed martial artist, and at 31 years of age, looks to be entering the prime years of his career. The former champion, Whittaker, needs no introduction as he has been at the forefront of the middleweight division for almost a decade now.

Whittaker is the best bet at UFC Saudi Arabia for a couple of reasons. First, his preparation for a matchup against Chimaev should not be drastically different than his preparation for Aliskerov. Though Chimaev and Aliskerov are different fighters with different tendencies, Whittaker should still be expecting a fight which encompasses a mix of striking, wresting, and grappling with heavy pressure from his opponent.

Secondly and perhaps most importantly, Whittaker is arguably the most experienced fighter at middleweight and has fought opponents of all styles over the years. His matchups against opponents like Yoel Romero, Ronaldo Souza, and Derek Brunson highlight impressive performances against opponents with strong wrestling/grappling backgrounds. Similarly, he has also faced the best strikers in the world at 185 pounds including, among others, former champion Israel Adesanya.

Finally, this will be Aliskerov's first career five round fight, and although he is on a three fight first round finish streak, he shouldn't expect to defeat Whittaker in the same sort of fashion. Whittaker will rely on his experience and versatile game to put together a decision victory at UFC Saudi Arabia.

UFC Saudi Arabia worst bet: Alexander Volkov +186

Alexander Volkov looks like he could truly compete for the UFC heavyweight championship sometime soon. Currently in the midst of a three fight winning streak, the No. 5 ranked heavyweight contender is likely only one win away from his first attempt at undisputed champion status. Standing in his way however, is one of, if not, the single most prolific knockout artist in the UFC at the moment.

Sergei Pavlovich looked as dominant as any rising contender before his defeat to Tom Aspinall at UFC 295 in November 2023. While he was unsuccessful in his attempt at interim gold, his knockout power still remains the deciding factor in most of his fights and that trend will continue at UFC Saudi Arabia.

Volkov has a history of being unable to break through into the championship discussion and seems to have fallen short when given the opportunity more often than not. At UFC 229 when it looked like he was just one win away from a title shot, Derrick Lewis defeated him. Similar scenarios played out against Curtis Blaydes, Ciryl Gane, and Aspinall where it appears that there may be one last obstacle Volkov cannot overcome.

With the stakes for his matchup against Pavlovich being likely another number one contender matchup, it would be smart to stay away from wagering on Volkov at UFC Saudi Arabia.

All odds are according to FanDuel. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.