UFC 294 Results
UFC 294 featured a pair of first-round finishes. Islam Makhachev put Alexander Volkanovski to sleep with a vicious head kick in the first round of their featherweight title fight.
Khamzat Chimaev scored a majority decision win over former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the co-main event. Chimaev stepped in on short notice for this fight after the original opponent, Paulo Costa, pulled out due to a staph infection.
Islam Makhachev Defeats Alexander Volkanovski
Islam Makhachev put Alexander Volkanovski’s dream of becoming a double champion in the lightweight division to bed for good with a first-round TKO victory in their rematch at UFC 294. The Russian took advantage of a mistake by the Australian to take control in their second meeting. Volkanovski was looking to become the fifth simultaneous double champ in the promotion’s history and he looked strong in the opening rounds but a well-placed head kick from Makhachev proved enough.
Volkanovski’s willingness to take a fight of this magnitude on 11 days notice speaks volumes about his character and his ability to adapt on the fly. But the same can also be said for Makhachev, who rolled through his opponent on short notice to secure the rematch. Makhachev is a dangerous fighter no matter what division he is in and he looked to prove that once again in Abu Dhabi.
In the second round, Makhachev landed a series of knees and punches to keep his opponent at bay. He then moved into the clinch to land hard shots on the body, forcing Volkanovski to back away from him. Volkanovski stuffed a takedown attempt and returned to the striking exchanges where he kept up with Makhachev.
Toward the end of the round, Volkanovski caught a kick from Makhachev and dropped to his knees. Makhachev took full advantage and he pounced, landing a series of head kicks to finish the fight.
Round three opened with both men trading knees and punches until they entered the clinch against the cage. Volkanovski pushed back and tried to work in the heel hook but was unable to lock in a submission hold. Makhachev seized the opportunity to break the clinch and he began landing heavy punches on the body.
In the fourth and final round, Makhachev landed another head kick to send Volkanovski to the mat and then he drilled him with a big right hand. The referee stepped in to stop the fight and Makhachev reaffirmed his status as the best fighter in the lightweight division. He now has a perfect record in the division and he looks set to win the belt for a third time in 2023.
Khamzat Chimaev Wins Over Kamaru Usman
Khamzat Chimaev made a big statement in the middleweight division as he beat Kamaru Usman on Saturday. The former welterweight champion took on the massive Chimaev in the co-main event of UFC 294 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The matchup was supposed to pit Paulo Costa against Usman, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw with an elbow injury and Chimaev stepped in on short notice.
Chimaev rushed out of the gates with his power wrestling as he got to Usman early and often in the first round. He pounded out punches and elbows while looking for a submission. Usman started to come back in the second round with some good striking but couldn’t get a finish. In the third round, Chimaev had the advantage on the ground as he worked in some knee strikes and an armbar.
On the feet, Usman fought a more measured pace and tagged Chimaev with some good jabs and power strikes. However, Chimaev was able to get a late takedown and control the remainder of the fight as he wore down Usman with some hard power shots.
Round four begins with Usman attempting to jump up with his left hand. He then tries to land a front kick that just misses. Chimaev shoots for a takedown and is successful with the double. He gets Usman on his back and is working to flatten him out.
At the three-minute mark, Usman tries to shake off ‘Borz’ with a few strikes but it doesn’t work. He then tries to rip off the choke but Chimaev isn’t falling for it.
With just seconds remaining in the fight, Usman tries to jump up but he isn’t able to avoid the fall. Chimaev is in the clinch and is putting pressure on him with elbows to his face and body. The fight goes to the judges’ scorecards and Chimaev wins the decision. The win clinches him a middleweight title shot. It also makes him the number one contender in the division.
Khamzat Chimaev Defeats Paulo Costa
Khamzat Chimaev ran his perfect record to 12-0 by defeating Kamaru Usman in the co-main event at UFC 294. The Ukrainian middleweight prospect dominated his former welterweight rival and could now get a shot at current UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland.
Costa had been set to face Chimaev, but the Brazilian MMA veteran withdrew from the fight due to an elbow injury. The 185-pound division got an intriguing replacement in former welterweight champ Kamaru Usman, who accepted the challenge on 10 days notice.
The pair went to war in a frenetic first round, with both fighters landing hard punches. However, it was Makhachev who broke the deadlock with an emphatic flurry of hammer fists that left Volkanovski visibly dazed. The Dagestani grappling phenom took full advantage of the stunned Aussie to drop him on his back and threaten with submissions.
After a spirited standoff, the pair separated and returned to their feet. The second round was much more tactical, with both fighters trading bombs in an attempt to impose their will. The battle remained close until the final minute, when Makhachev threw a big left hand that connected with Volkanovski’s jaw. The impact was enough to knock the Australian out cold.
In the third and final round, it was all about damage control as both fighters searched for a way to finish the fight. Chimaev did well to keep Usman at bay, taking the Nigerian Nightmare down and staying busy on his back. Usman tried to rally, but a late barrage of punches and the threat of a choke put the contest out of reach.
With the win, Chimaev extends his winning streak to six and looks poised to make a serious run at the top of the middleweight division. The unbeaten Ukrainian will now likely get a shot at the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori, but he’ll have to improve his showings in the final two rounds. A rematch with the undefeated Jan Blachowicz is also on the cards. For more on this fight and the rest of the UFC 294 card, check out MMA Junkie’s event hub.
Khamzat Chimaev Defeats Kamaru Usman
Khamzat Chimaev continued to ply his craft in the middleweight division with a solid win over long-notice replacement Kamaru Usman. The Nigerian Nightmare was looking to re-claim his old title when he faced the undefeated Chimaev, but it wasn’t meant to be as the former welterweight champion got taken down and choked out via a rear-naked choke in Round Three.
Chimaev came out with the intent to strike in the first frame, but Usman was able to keep him at bay with some well-timed jabs. It wasn’t long before the Chechen began to take control as he got a quick takedown and dominated from the piggyback position. He kept the pressure on with short shots to the neck, which caused some serious discomfort for Usman.
As the second round began, Usman began to find some rhythm with his striking and was able to score with a couple of good left hooks. Chimaev, on the other hand, was more interested in taking Usman to the mat, as he looked for a double takedown. The former welterweight champ did an excellent job defending the initial attempt, but he wasn’t able to stop Chimaev from getting the second one.
On the ground, Chimaev was able to maintain control as he worked on a reversal and eventually landed in half-guard with two minutes to go. Usman tried a furious escape but was only able to get some punches in before he was slammed to the mat by Chimaev.
The Chechen moved into full mount and started to pepper away with some hard elbows and punches, but Usman was able to keep himself free from the choke with some outstanding defensive work. Towards the end of the round, Chimaev angled for a neck crank but it didn’t come, so he just settled on working from the back mount and dropping some short punches to the forehead of the former welterweight champion.
With the fight winding down, Usman tried to rally with a combination that included a head kick and some well-timed jabs. Chimaev was able to respond with a short left hook that snapped Usman’s head around, but he wasn’t able do anything more before the final horn sounded.