Islam Makhachev TKO’d Alexander Volkanovski In The First Round Of UFC 294

Islam Makhachev TKO’d Alexander Volkanovski in the first round of their UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 294 from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The highly-anticipated rematch came together on short notice after Charles Oliveira was a late scratch from the tilt. The duo picked up right where they left off, with an even first minute of the fight that involved Makhachev attempting a takedown and Volkanovski stuffing it as he did in their first bout. Midway through the round, Makhachev caught Volkanovski with a glancing head kick that rolled the challenger’s eyes back before jumping on him for the referee stoppage.

Makhachaev submitted Charles Oliveira in October last year, taking care of the former champion in just two rounds. His win capped a meteoric rise that saw Makhachaev fight three times in 2021 and twice last year en route to becoming the top dog in the division. But Volkanovski offered the stiffest test of Makhachaev, taking him to a decision and offering enough offense to make that questionable from the judges.

After Yair Rodríguez won the interim title in February on the same card as Makhachaev-Volkanovski 1, the featherweight king returned to his division with a knockout victory over Rodriguez in July. Just three months later, he came back to avenge one of the rare losses in his career, but a first round head kick from Makhachev will likely send him back to the featherweight division.