The stage is set for an epic showdown as UFC lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev, prepares to defend his title against former champ, Charles Oliveira, in a highly-anticipated rematch. UFC president Dana White made the exciting announcement that the title bout will headline UFC 294 on October 21 in Abu Dhabi.
ESPN’s pound-for-pound rankings speak volumes about the fighters’ prowess. Makhachev is impressively ranked at No. 2 and Oliveira following closely at No. 6. Their paths crossed before at UFC 280 in October. Where Islam Makhachev emerged victorious by submitting Charles Oliveira in the second round, securing the vacant UFC lightweight title.
Makhachev’s recent form has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. In a remarkable display of skill and determination, he claimed a unanimous-decision win over featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 back in February. The 24-1 Dagestan native boasts an impressive record, winning 12 consecutive fights, all of which have been in the UFC. As a longtime training partner and student of the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has honed his skills to perfection.
On the other side of the octagon, Oliveira has been a force to be reckoned with. Fresh from a triumphant first-round TKO win over Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 last month. Oliveira earned his shot at redemption against Makhachev. The Brazilian fighter previously held the UFC lightweight title after a convincing victory over Michael Chandler in May 2021. However, weight issues in May 2022 led to the unfortunate stripping of his belt. With an impressive record of 20 finishes and 16 submission wins, Oliveira stands tall as the record holder for the most finishes in UFC history.
Fans were left speculating about the potential for an immediate rematch between Makhachev and Volkanovski following the latter’s dominant title defense against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 on July 8. However, the UFC’s top choice for this epic clash was Oliveira, given his spectacular performance against Dariush.
As the countdown to UFC 294 begins, anticipation builds for a fight that promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Makhachev and Oliveira are set to deliver an enthralling and fiercely contested battle for the coveted lightweight championship. Fight enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the historic rematch. Bracing themselves for an adrenaline-pumping display of skill, power, and determination in the octagon.