Makhachev Retains UFC Crown with Stunning KO of Volkanovski

Makhachev Retains UFC Crown with Stunning KO of Volkanovski

In an electrifying showdown at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, Russia’s Islam Makhachev showcased his dominance, delivering a stunning first-round knockout against Alexander Volkanovski. This victory not only retained Makhachev’s lightweight title but also marked a significant moment for the Australian fighter, as it was his first KO loss in over a decade.

The background of this intense bout is worth noting. Reigning featherweight champion Volkanovski had previously stepped up a weight class to face Makhachev for the lightweight title in February. Although he lost that battle by decision, when Makhachev’s initial opponent, Charles Oliveira, withdrew just 12 days before the event, Volkanovski stepped up once again to take on the challenge.

The Etihad Arena was buzzing with anticipation as fans awaited this highly anticipated clash. The fight quickly escalated into a short but enthralling battle that sent shockwaves through the arena. It all began when Makhachev unleashed a devastating head kick on Volkanovski. In a lightning-fast sequence, he pursued his opponent to the mat, delivering nine unanswered punches. The intensity of Makhachev’s assault prompted referee Marc Goddard to step in and halt the fight, just 3 minutes and 6 seconds into the first round.

This knockout dealt a heavy blow to Volkanovski, marking his first knockout loss since May 2013 when he faced Corey Nelson in only his fourth professional MMA fight.

In the co-main event, Khamzat Chimaev made a strong case for a shot at the middleweight title with his performance against Kamaru Usman. Although Chimaev dominated the former welterweight champion in the opening round, the 36-year-old Nigerian fighter managed to keep the fight standing in the second and pushed forward relentlessly until the end of the third round, narrowly missing out on victory.

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