The upcoming UFC 294 event, scheduled for October 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, has undergone a major change as the former UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, had to withdraw from the main event due to an injury to his eyebrow. This development was confirmed by UFC president Dana White. Resulting in the cancellation of the lightweight title rematch between Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Discover UFC 294: Alexander Volkanovski to face Islam Makhachev.
Stepping in on short notice to replace Oliveira is Alexander Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion. Oliveira’s eyebrow injury, sustained just 11 days before the fight, made it impossible for him to participate. Notably, his team chose to handle the stitches themselves rather than reaching out to the UFC’s medical team.
Dana White expressed frustration over the lack of communication, stating, “They didn’t call us. We would have had him go to a plastic surgeon. They would have sewed it from the inside-out, get that thing done the right way. These guys never call us like they should when something happens. They call us after they get it stitched up.”
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Replacement of Mateusz Gamrot with Alexander Volkanovski
Although a backup fighter, Mateusz Gamrot, was available, the UFC decided to have Volkanovski step in, showcasing the promotion’s top-ranked fighters. This sudden change in the main event is significant, especially for Charles Oliveira, who previously lost his lightweight title due to missing weight in a title defense. Oliveira recently made a comeback with a victory over Beneil Dariush, setting up the rematch against Makhachev, which will now be subject to postponement.
The UFC 294 event will now feature a highly anticipated rematch between Makhachev and Volkanovski, who previously fought in February at UFC 284, where Makhachev secured a close unanimous decision victory.
Makhachev, with an impressive 12 consecutive wins, his formidable skills and has successfully defended his title. He has a strong training background with Khabib Nurmagomedov, a retired former UFC lightweight champion.
On the other hand, Volkanovski, the Australian champion, rebounded from his loss to Makhachev by defeating Yair Rodriguez in a featherweight title fight at UFC 290 in July. With five successful title defenses and six featherweight title fight wins, Volkanovski is one of the division’s prominent figures.
Despite the setback caused by Oliveira’s injury, fans can now look forward to an exciting rematch between these two elite fighters, Makhachev and Volkanovski, at UFC 294 on October 21.