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UFC 294 LIVE: Volkanovski vs Makhachev – fight results after shock KO

Re-live updates from the lightweight-title rematch and co-main event, plus undercard action in Abu Dhabi

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Monday 23 October 2023 13:49 BST
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Islam Makhachev stunned Alexander Volkanovski with a first-round knockout on Saturday, retaining the lightweight title in their rematch at UFC 294.

In February, Makhachev outpointed Volkanovski – who holds the featherweight belt – in the latter’s native Australia, in a competitive clash that left many fans desiring a rematch. Few expected it to come at UFC 294, but 11 days before the event, Makhachev’s original challenger Charles Oliveira suffered a severe cut over his eye. And with that, the door opened for Volkanovski.

The 35-year-old relished the chance to avenge his narrow loss to Makhachev, but there was to be no revenge for him – only a repeat as the Russian triumphed again, and in finer fashion this time.

Midway through the first round of the main event, southpaw Makhachev skimmed his left shin off Volkanovski’s head, wobbling and dropping the featherweight king. Makhachev, 31, followed up with a fierce flurry of hammer fists to the grounded Aussie, whose brow split open amid the onslaught. Referee Marc Goddard stepped in, confirming an emphatic victory and title defence for Makhachev.

Re-live updates and results from the UFC 294 main card and prelims, below.


UFC 294: Volkanovski’s bravest move yet? Talking about his mental health

First came the crack in Alexander Volkanovski‘s defence. Then, the crack in his voice. If the first crack was consequential, allowing Islam Makhachev to skim his shin off the Australian’s head, the latter was a consequence in itself – a consequence of one of the best fighters alive staying silent on his struggles with mental health. That is, until now.

Volkanovski would have emerged from UFC 294 with credit anyway; he stepped in on 11 days’ notice and moved up in weight to challenge a man who had beaten him eight months prior. Even in this surprising, first-round defeat by Makhachev, Volkanovski lost very little. His featherweight title still rests firmly on his shoulder, and he will soon return to that weight class where he has been unbeatable.

But soon may be too soon. In his post-fight press conference, Volkanovski began the dissection of this defeat – his second this year, but just his third as a professional mixed martial artist, with his first having occurred a long decade ago. The 35-year-old started to dissect the technical reasons for this knockout loss, but it soon became apparent what was of greater importance: the mental reasons for his presence in Abu Dhabi.

And that is where his problem may lie. Comment:

Alexander Volkanovski’s bravest move yet? Talking about his mental health

Comment: After suffering an early knockout by Islam Makhachev in a short-notice fight, Volkanovski opened up on his mental health. His next challenge is to work on that, before he returns to work in the ring

Alex Pattle23 October 2023 13:15

UFC 294: Khabib explains why he wasn’t in Makhachev’s corner

Khabib explains why he wasn’t in Islam Makhachev’s corner at UFC 294

The former UFC champion has clarified his absence

Alex Pattle23 October 2023 13:05

UFC 294: Conor McGregor reacts to ‘illegal strikes’ in Makhachev win

Alex Pattle23 October 2023 12:52

Khabib explains why he wasn’t in Islam Makhachev’s corner at UFC 294

Khabib Nurmagomedov has clarified why he missed childhood friend and UFC protege Islam Makhachev’s stunning victory over Alexander Volkanovski.

The former UFC champion, who finished his career with an unbeaten 29-0 record, said it was not unusual for him to not be in the corner in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

Nurmagomedov became Makhachev’s coach following his retirement in 2020, but the ‘Eagle’ announced earlier this year that he had taken a step back from the UFC.

Makhachev stunned Volkanovski with a first-round knockout at UFC 294, retaining the lightweight title in their rematch.

Khabib explains why he wasn’t in Islam Makhachev’s corner at UFC 294

The former UFC champion has clarified his absence

Jamie Braidwood22 October 2023 11:36

Conor McGregor reacts to ‘illegal’ strikes in Islam Makhachev win at UFC 294

Conor McGregor reacted to Islam Makhachev’s stunning first-round knockout of Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294 by suggesting the victory shouldn’t have stood due to illegal shots.

The former UFC champion responded to Makhachev’s finish by saying Volkanovski had been put to sleep by strikes landing on the back of the Australia’s head.

Jamie Braidwood22 October 2023 11:19

UFC 294 in photos

Magomed Ankalaev, right, moments before landing an illegal knee on Johnny Walker (AP)
Ankalaev and Walker threatened to clash again after the fight was ruled a No Contest (AFP via Getty Images)
Khamzat Chimaev, top, controlled Kamaru Usman for much of their bout (AP)
Islam Makhachev, right, sealed an early finish against Alexander Volkanovski (AP)
Makhachev retained the lightweight title with his second straight win over Volkanovski (AFP via Getty Images)
Alex Pattle21 October 2023 23:50

UFC 294 LIVE: Conor McGregor changes mind on Chimaev win

Alex Pattle21 October 2023 23:20

UFC 294 LIVE: Conor McGregor reacts to ‘illegal’ strikes in Makhachev win

Alex Pattle21 October 2023 22:55

UFC 294 LIVE: Co-main-event report

And here’s a report on the co-main event:

Khamzat Chimaev sees off valiant Kamaru Usman in UFC 294 co-main event

Ex-welterweight champion Usman fought the unbeaten middleweight prospect on 10 days’ notice

Alex Pattle21 October 2023 22:34

UFC 294 LIVE: Main-event report

Here’s our main-event report in full:

Makhachev stuns Volkanovski with head-kick KO in first round at UFC 294

The Russian stopped the featherweight champion to retain the lightweight title, eight months after beating the Australian on points

Alex Pattle21 October 2023 22:05

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