UFC pulled off a major coup replacing Charles Oliveira less than two weeks from the pay-per-view
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is swooping in to save the day and avenge his only UFC loss. Volkanovski agreed to challenge UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev on short notice after Charles Oliveira was forced off UFC 294’s main event due to injury.
Makhachev and Volkanovski will meet for a second time on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Champ vs. champ super fights are rare enough, but this is the first time that two active UFC champions will compete in a two-fight series. Volkanovski faces a steep challenge with roughly 10 days to prepare for a title fight up a weight class. Makhachev defeated Volkanovski via unanimous decision in their first fight, but Volkanovski’s stock elevated after giving Makhachev his toughest test in recent memory. Makhachev has not fought since February; meanwhile, Volkanovski defended his featherweight title against Yair Rodriguez in July.
Lightweight contender Mateusz Gamrot also looms in the shadows. UFC president Dana White anointed him as the backup fighter for Makhachev vs. Oliveira 2, a role designed to solve for a booked fighter missing weight or falling out of a fight. Unfortunately for Gamrot, the UFC pivoted to what is almost certainly a more high-profile fight. Gamrot will remain the backup fighter.
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Oliveira suffered a nasty eyebrow gash in training that booted him from UFC 294, but it’s not the only injury that seriously affected the pay-per-view. UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa underwent elbow surgery four weeks before the event. Doctors deemed Costa unfit to compete despite his protests publicly. White announced on Oct. 11 that former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will move up to middleweight to battle Chimaev. The winner is expected to challenge UFC middleweight champ Sean Strickland.
Below is the complete fight card for UFC 294 along with the latest odds. Check back all week long for the latest news, features and other content around this massive event.
UFC 294 fight card, odds
- Islam Makhachev -300 vs. Alexander Volkanovski +240, lightweight championship
- Khamzat Chimaev -280 vs. Kamaru Usman +230, middleweights
- Magomed Ankalaev -350 vs. Johnny Walker +275, light heavyweights
- Ikram Aliskerov -600 vs. Warlley Alves +430, middleweights
- Said Nurmagomedov -220 vs. Muin Gafurov +180, bantamweights
- Muhammad Mokaev -450 vs. Tim Elliot +350, flyweights
- Trevor Peek -155 vs. Mohammad Yahya +130, lightweights
- Javid Basharat -550 vs. Victor Henry +400, bantamweights
- Sedriques Dumas -225 vs. Abu Azaitar +185, middleweights
- Anshul Jubli -300 vs. Mike Breeden +240, lightweights
- Nathaniel Wood -340 vs. Muhammad Naimov +270, featherweights
- Viktoriia Dudakova -550 vs. Jinh Yu Frey +400, women’s strawweights
- Shara Magomedov -250 vs. Bruno Silva +205, middleweights
UFC 294 info
- Date: Oct. 21
- Location: Etihad Arena — Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
- Start time: 2 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: ESPN+ PPV