UFC 294 is a wrap from Abu Dhabi and it delivered in numerous ways. From odd fouls throughout the night to violent finishes, this event really had it all. In the end, lightweight champion Islam Makhachev continues to reign supreme as he turned away Alexander Volkanovski for a second time with a vicious head kick knockout in the opening round.
Makhachev, who was scheduled to fight Charles Oliveira until an injury in training camp forced him out, stayed calm throughout the entirety of the fight as he controlled Volkanovski with his clinch and low kicks before deciding to go high and hitting the perfect spot.
It's unclear who would be next for Makhachev, but he does not care who it is. He told UFC president Dana White after the fight that he just wants someone to face. Volkanovski, who still holds the featherweight title, echoed that sentiment in hope of a quick turnaround once the cuts that were opened up heal.
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Elsewhere on the card, Khamzat Chimaev appears to have stamped his ticket to a middleweight title shot with a majority decision over former welterweight king Kamaru Usman. Chimaev sprinted out of the gates with his power wrestling and nearly locked in a rear naked choke before Usman was able to shake him off his back briefly. Usman did rally in the second round and appeared to do well in the striking game, but it wasn't enough to overcome the 10-8 scorecards for the opening frame.
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UFC 294 fight card, results
- Islam Makhachev (c) def. Alexander Volkanovski via first-round TKO (head kick, punches)
- via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker ends in no contest (unintentional foul)
- via first-round TKO (knee, punches)
- Said Nurmagomedov def. Muin Gafurov via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
- Muhammad Mokaev def. Tim Elliot via third-round submission (arm triangle choke)
- Trevor Peek def. Mohammad Yahya via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry ends in no contest (accidental groin strike)
- Sedriques Dumas def. Abu Azaitar via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mike Breeden def. Anshul Jubli via third-round knockout (punch)
- Muhammad Naimov def. Nathaniel Wood via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Viktoriia Dudakova def. Jinh Yu Frey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Shara Magomedov def. Bruno Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
UFC 294 countdown
- Campbell: in Abu Dhabi
- after surgery forces him out
- on short notice