The Etihad Arena from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates will be the location for UFC 294: Makahachev vs. Volkanovski 2 on Saturday, October 21. The main event will be a rematch for the lightweight title between defending champion Islam Makhachev and current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovksi. The co-main event is a middleweight title eliminator bout between former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and No. 4 welterweight Khamzat Chimaev. ESPN+ PPV will broadcast the main card at 2 p.m. ET.
Both of the top fights have changed over the past week. Makhachev was originally supposed to take on No. 1 lightweight contender and former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in a rematch of the main event of UFC 280. Volkanovski took the fight on 11 days notice. This fight is a rematch of UFC 284 where Makhachev won a tight unanimous decision over Volkanovski in Perth, Australia.
Makhachev (24-1) won the lightweight title from Oliveira at UFC 284 via an arm-triangle choke in the second round. A disciple of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and a long-time friend and teammate of former UFC lightweight champion and Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has won 12 straight fights in the Octagon. He had a streak of five finishes in a row until he faced Volkanovski, who held a significant advantage in striking in their first fight. Makhachev is a sambo and wrestling specialist. He is known for his relentless ground game, similar to that of Nurmagomedov.
Volkanovski (26-2) also won 12 straight fights and was undefeated in the UFC until the lost to Makhachev. He rose through the ranks in featherweight and faced off with Max Holloway for the featherweight championship at UFC 245. He dominated Holloway to win the title by unanimous decision. They had a rematch at UFC 251 that was much closer and Volkanovski retained with a disputed split decision. The third fight came at UFC 276, now Volkanovski’s fourth title defense, and he won by a unanimous decision, clearly proving he was the better man in the trilogy. Volkanovski also has successful title defenses against Brian Ortega, “The Korean Zombie” Jung Chan-Sung and Yair Rodriguez. Now he’s looking to become the fifth UFC fighter to hold championships in multiple weight classes at the same time, joining Amanda Nunes, Henry Cujedo, Daniel Cormier and Conor McGregor.
Here are the betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook for Makhachev vs. Volkanovski at UFC 294 on October 21, 2023.
Money line odds