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.
— UFC (@ufc) October 21, 2023
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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.