Alex Volkanovski’s dreams of winning a second title appear to be over after a devastating first round knockout loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 294. A first round head kick from the Russian did the damage at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Makhachev threw kicks to the body and head in the opening exchanges and, in hindsight, the warning signs were there for Volkanovski. He shook off the Russian’s first takedown attempt but ate a knee to the midsection in the process.

The Russian southpaw missed with a right hook but seconds later a left kick connected to Volkanovski’s head as the Australian appeared to be changing levels. He was badly hurt and while there was still time for Makhachev to land some follow up shots the head kick basically finished the fight.

The finish came at the 3:06 mark and sees Makhachev’s record move up to 25-1 after a 13th straight victory for the UFC lightweight champion. Volkanovski drops to 26-3 and will probably stay at featherweight where he remains the champion.

Best of the rest

In the co-main event Kamaru Usman pushed Khamzat Chimaev all the way. The former was making his middleweight debut and had accepted the fight at short notice when original opponent Paulo Costa pulled out.

It was just the second time Chimaev had been the distance and one of the judges scored it a draw but the other two voted in favour of the undefeated fighter. He moves up to 13-0 while Usman drops to 20-4.

UFC 294, Abu Dhabi, October 22nd
Islam Makhachev (c) def. Alex Volkanovski via KO (Head kick and punches) at 3:06 of R1
Khamzat Chimaev def. Kamaru Usman via Decision (Majority)
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker ends in No Contest (Illegal knee) at 3:13 of R1
Ikram Aliskerov def. Warlley Alves via TKO (knee and punches) at 2:07 of R1
Said Nurmagomedov def. Muin Gafurov via Submission (guillotine choke) at 1:13 of R1
Muhammad Mokaev def. Tim Elliott via Submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:03 of R3
Trevor Peek def. Mohammad Yahya Decision via (Unanimous)
Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry ended in No Contest (Accidental groin kick) at 0:15 of R2
Sedriques Dumas def. Abu Azaitar via Decision (Unanimous)
Mike Breeden def. Anshul Jubli via KO (Punches) at 3:00 of R3
Muhammad Naimov def. Nathaniel Wood via Decision (Unanimous)
Victoria Dudakova def. Jinh Yu Frey via Decision (Unanimous)
Shara Magomedov def. Bruno Silva via Decision (Unanimous)