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UFC 294 Shocker: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Islam Makhachev Set to Steal the Show

The world of mixed martial arts is no stranger to sudden twists and turns, and UFC 294 has just experienced a seismic shift.

With less than two weeks remaining until the highly anticipated event, lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has been forced off the card due to injury. However, the UFC has swiftly reorganized its deck and unveiled a thrilling new main event that promises to be a true clash of titans: Alexander Volkanovski will step into the Octagon to face Islam Makhachev.

UFC CEO Dana White announced this electrifying rematch following the Season 7 finale of The Contender Series. The news, initially reported by The Overdogs podcast, has sent shockwaves through the MMA world and fueled anticipation for the upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi on October 14.

Oliveira's withdrawal from the fight came as a result of a significant cut to his eyebrow, incurred during a spirited sparring session. Dana White expressed his frustration that the former lightweight champion had not contacted the promotion before seeking medical attention for his injury. The UFC CEO also voiced his discontent over the premature leak of this information before it could be officially relayed to their partners in Abu Dhabi.

The stakes are high for Alexander Volkanovski as he steps into the Octagon to avenge his razor-close loss to Makhachev during their initial encounter in February. Volkanovski had actively campaigned for an immediate rematch, but he subsequently defended his UFC featherweight title with an emphatic victory over Yair Rodriguez in July.

It had appeared that Volkanovski was on course to defend his belt once again at UFC 297 in January, this time against Ilia Topuria. However, those plans will be temporarily shelved as the Australian fighter seizes the opportunity to pursue a second UFC title in a different weight class.

UFC 294's new headliner promises to be a showcase of elite talent and a captivating story of redemption. Dana White confirmed that the promotion was originally targeting Volkanovski vs. Topuria before the unexpected shakeup, leaving the future of UFC 294's headline event uncertain.

Mateusz Gamrot, who was initially slated as the backup fighter for the Oliveira vs. Makhachev bout, was briefly considered as a replacement, although the specific reasons for his non-selection remain undisclosed.

As UFC fans worldwide brace for this thrilling showdown, lightweight contender Mateusz Gamrot remains in place as a backup should any unforeseen circumstances arise between now and October 14.

In a late-night video message in his native Portuguese titled "I Apologize," Charles Oliveira conveyed his regrets for withdrawing from UFC 294.


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