Makhachev Defends Lightweight Title at UFC 294

Islam Makhachev defeated Alexander Volkanovski by way of knockout to defend the UFC Lightweight Championship.

Defending the lightweight title at UFC 294, Islam Makhachev delivered a stunning victory by way of knockout in a rematch against Alexander Volkanovski in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

The match started off with the two fighters grappling against the fence, alternating who was in the power position. After the two fighters separated, Makhachev stunned Volkanovski with a beautiful high left kick to the head. He continued to strike Volkanovski multiple times in the face until the referee stopped the bout at 3:06 of the opening round, making this Makhachev’s 13th straight victory. 

To highlight the co-main event, Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman went the distance showcasing their well-rounded grappling skills and takedown defense. Although there was a slow pace to this fight, Chimaev showed the most aggression and power over his opponent through repeated takedown attempts and grappling control, winning him the bout via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28) and retaining his undefeated record. 

At 3:13 of the first round, the match between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker was ended by doctor’s stoppage. Both fighters begin the fight with a burst of energy, throwing flying knees and precise body shots. Once Ankalaev grapples with Walker against the fence, he throws an illegal knee to the head while Walker is down. Following the ringside physician’s evaluation, Walker was deemed unfit to continue the fight, and the match was declared a no contest because of an unintentional foul. The stoppage raised controversy among fight fans, as they believed Walker was ready to continue the fight but a language barrier with the doctor was at his disadvantage.

Additional noteworthy performances were first-round stoppages by Said Nurmagomedov and Ikram Aliskerov to open the main card. Nurmagomedov submitted Muin Gafurov (1:13) by guillotine choke, followed by Aliskerov knocking out Warlley Alves (2:07) with a flying knee and finishing punches.