Charles Oliveira will no longer be fighting at UFC 294. In his place steps Alex Volkanovski who will rematch Islam Makhachev in the main even of next week’s card in Abu Dhabi.

No reason was given for Oliveira’s late withdrawal. Fortunately the UFC had a ready made replacement in the wings to headline the event at the Etihad Arena.

Volkanovski (26-2) is the reigning featherweight champion. He dropped a decision to Makhachev in a lightweight title fight at UFC 284 earlier this year which was his first and only loss in the octagon.

Makhachev is the protege of Khabib Nurmagomedov who held the lightweight title himself and retired undefeated. He won the lightweight title by beating Oliveira at UFC 280 in Abi Dhabi.

Middleweight debut

The card will also feature the middleweight debut of Khamzat Chimaev. Having missed weight by nearly 10lbs at UFC 280 he has moved up a division and will be taking on Paulo Costa.

Also in the middleweight division Nassourdine Imavov has been matched with Ikram Aliskerov. The former had been booked to fight Costa at UFC 291 but that fight was cancelled with both men facing different opponents in October instead.

Famous namesake

Mohammad Yahya has signed with the UFC and will debut in Abu Dhabi next month. The reigning UAE Warriors lightweight champion will become the first fighter from the country to compete inside the octagon.

Yahya has been booked to face Trevor Peek at UFC 294. The event is set for the Etihad Arena on October 21st and the Emirati should get good support from the fans in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile Said Nurmagomedov is heading to the city where his namesake finished his career. The Russian bantamweight will be competing at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21st.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s final two fights both took place in Abu Dhabi. He submitted Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje before walking away from the sport with a perfect professional record.

Nurmagomedov has been matched with Muin Gafurov at UFC 294 . The ONE Championship veteran previously fought in Abu Dhabi at UAE Warriors 15 but was defeated on his UFC debut earlier this year.

UFC 294, Abu Dhabi, October 21st
Islam Makhachev vs. Alex Volkanovski (For lightweight title)
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa (Middleweight)
Nassourdine Imavov vs. Nassourdine Imavov (Middleweight)
Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev (Flyweight)
Abu Azaitar vs. Sedriques Dumas (Middleweight)
Jinh Yu Frey vs. Victoria Dudakova (Strawweight)
Mohammad Yahya vs. Trevor Peek (Lightweight)
Anshul Jubli vs. Mike Breeden (Lightweight)
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov (Bantamweight)
Victor Henry vs. Javid Basharat (Bantamweight)