Match Report

UFC 294: Islam Makhachev vs Alex Volkanovski

Discover how Alex Volkanovski stepped in on short notice for a thrilling match with Islam Makhachev at UFC, ensuring the main card bout went on.

Aashir Ahmed
Aashir Ahmed

Last Updated: 2023-10-25

Dillip Mohanty

Volkanovski stepped in for Oliveira

The highly anticipated rematch between Islam Makachev and Charles Oliveira took an unexpected turn when the latter fighter suffered an injury during training, rendering him unable to compete. However, the main card bout and Islam's lightweight title defense were deemed too valuable to cancel, and Alex Volkanovski stepped in to save the event taking the fight on 11 days' notice.

Leading up to their clash in Abu Dhabi this Saturday, it's worth noting that Makhachev had previously defeated Volkanovski at UFC 284 in February, a result that sparked controversy among many. Alex saw the upcoming rematch as a chance for redemption and an unprecedented opportunity to hold titles in two weight classes, a feat achieved by only a select few in UFC history. He firmly believed he deserved a different outcome in their initial encounter and eagerly accepted the challenge of facing Makhachev once again.

As the bell signalled the start of the round, the atmosphere was notably distinct from their previous meeting at UFC 284. This time, Islam Makhachev commanded a much stronger presence in the Octagon. While their first encounter had reached a decision, their recent face-off ended more swiftly. Makhachev masterfully set up the finishing sequence, initially targeting Volkonovski body before launching a high kick, even with Volkanovski's guard up.

The precision of the kick struck the top of Volkanovski's head, causing him to stagger back towards the cage. Makhachev wasted no time and pounced on his dazed opponent, delivering a series of powerful hammer fists. Volkanovski displayed no visible defence, prompting the referee to step in and terminate the bout at 3:06 of the first round.

Islam Makhachev.jpegIn the aftermath of the victory celebrations, Islam Makhachev displayed his sportsmanship by expressing deep respect for Alex Volkanovski, acknowledging him as the "real champion" for stepping into the fight on such short notice. In response, Volkanovski graciously praised Makhachev's tactical brilliance in setting up the knockout and expressed his desire to potentially face Ilia Topuria in a featherweight bout in January.

Aashir Ahmed
Aashir AhmedMMA Writer

Aashir Ahmed specializes in translating current events into engaging written pieces. With a diverse audience spanning from children to adults and native to foreign language speakers, he strives to make articles accessible to all. Aashir's goal is to ensure that readers can easily grasp the information he conveys by formatting his articles for clarity and comprehension.