Recently, UFC President Dana White announced the promotion’s plans to bring back the BMF title. As such, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier will throw down in the main event of UFC 291. However, the event also features an exciting up-and-coming prospect, Ikram Aliskerov.
For the most part, news of the UFC 291 card was met with a lot of positive reviews. Along with the aforementioned BMF headliner, the card also features Alex Pereira’s 205 lbs debut against Jan Blachowicz. Additionally, Paulo Costa takes on Aliskerov, whilst Tony Ferguson takes on Bobby Green. As such, Kevin Holland vs. Michael Chiesa will be the first fight on the main card.
Poirier vs Gaethje 2 is OFFICIAL!#UFC291 in Salt Lake City is going to be RIDICULOUS 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/OYWxzUcJk5
— UFC (@ufc) May 16, 2023
Moreover, the card is also set to feature Stephen Thompson vs Michel Pereira and Derrick Lewis vs Marcos Rogério de Lima in the prelims. With such reputable and tenured fighters on the undercard, many may be wondering how Aliskerov is on the main card let alone fighting the #5 ranked middleweight contender.
Previously, Paulo Costa retired former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. Since then, it was expected that Costa would finally get his showdown with Khamzat Chimaev. Instead, Costa is handed an unranked Russian prospect in Aliskerov. Whilst the decision may initially surprise many, they might not know that Aliskerov is not a total novice in the sport.
Ikram Aliskerov: Stats and MMA record
A relatively unknown quantity, Aliskerov has been a highly touted fighter for quite some time. After a standout performance on Season 6 of the Contender Series, Aliskerov made his way to the UFC. On the night, Ikram dispatched Mario Sousa with a Kimura lock in the very first round.
Taking on Phil Hawes at UFC 288, Ikram showed just how quickly he had improved. Showing off his striking prowess, the Dagestani knocked Hawes out cold within the very first round. Not only that, Aliskerov then went on to call out fellow middleweight and rising prospect, Bo Nickal.
He added, “Hey Bo Nickal, I heard you said you wanted to fight with a Dagestani guy. Brother, I am here. I am waiting. He said he want to fight with Dagestani guy. I’m here. We need to see whose wrestling is better.”
Standing at an imposing 6’0 (1.83 meters) with a reach of 76 inches, Aliskerov cuts a menacing figure. Prior to his Contender Series appearance, Aliskerov also featured at Eagle FC and Brave CF. Thus, Aliskerov has managed to accumulate an MMA record of 14-1, finishing his opponents in 10 out of his 14 wins.
Notably, his singular MMA loss came at the hands of none other than Khamzat Chimaev who delivered him a devastating KO at Brave CF 23. Chimaev himself called Ikram the toughest opponent of his career despite his KO win over him.
Following his loss, Aliskerov has been on a tear, racking up 6 consecutive wins with 5 of them being finishes. Although he asked to fight Bo Nickal, the UFC has done him one better. Will Aliskerov emerge victorious at UFC 291 or will his hype train be derailed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.