UFC 294 seemed like it would be the best event of the year until Charles Oliveira and Paulo Costa pulled out with days to spare. The card was dealt a third blow when Nassourdine Imavov also backed out of his fight with Ikram Aliskerov because he could not secure a visa in time.
But Brazilian veteran Warlley Alves stepped up on two weeks’ notice to take on the formidable Russian. Ikram Aliskerov graduated to the UFC after a win on Dana White’s Contender Series. He has fought only once since but boasts a nearly perfect record of 14 wins and 1 defeat. His lone loss was at the hands of Khamzat Chimaev.
Nassourdine Imavov is no longer fighting at #UFC294 in Abu Dhabi. Ikram Aliskerov remains on the card. He takes on Warlley Alves who makes his return to 185 for the first time since winning TUF Brazil 3 in 2014. pic.twitter.com/ivTEvC6Uti
— Marcel Dorff 🇳🇱🇮🇩 (@BigMarcel24) October 7, 2023
Warlley Alves won the third season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil at Middleweight in 2014. He then dropped down to Welterweight where he won three fights in a row, including a victory over Colby Covington. He has lost his last two fights.
Ikram Aliskerov vs Warlley Alves stats
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Ikram Aliskerov vs Warlley Alves prediction
Ikram Aliskerov’s UFC debut this May ended in a fluid knock out of powerhouse Phil Hawes. He was then supposed to face Paulo Costa at UFC 291 until the latter pulled out. Warlley Alves’ last win was a technical knock out of Mounir Lazzez in 2021.
Aliskerov is a decorated Combat Sambo practitioner with many world championships to his name. His striking is by no means inadequate, as his five knockouts prove. The Dagestani fights at a suffocating pace just like his compatriots Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He augments his aggressive striking and high pace with well-timed takedowns and relentless ground and pound.
Warlley Alves has vicious Kickboxing and throws leg, body, and head strikes. He is also skilled in choking out his foes, with eight of his fourteen wins coming in that fashion. Six of those eight chokes have been Guillotines, including the one he submitted Colby Covington with. He does not hesitate to take his opponents down when the opportunity presents itself.
Roman Aliskerov will have the size and power advantage in this fight since Middleweight is his natural weight class. Warlley Alves is faster, being a Welterweight, and will try to avoid Aliskerov’s strikes. Aliskerov is deceptively powerful and has knocked foes down with seemingly effortless punches. But he has been caught off guard before and that might be a weakness that Alves will try to exploit.
Alves took this fight on short notice and will be quite drained due to the hurried weight cut. This might affect his stamina and prove ruinous against the well-conditioned Aliskerov. Unless Aliskerov makes a false move and Alves lands a fluke shot, the Russian should have his hand raised. Ikram Aliskerov is expected to beat Warlley Alves by TKO or Unanimous Decision.