‘Best vs. Best’ Volkanovsky’s Renewed Challenge to Makachev…”I’m the One to Take Him Down”

October 21, 2023 | by

An epic champion vs. champion rematch will take place.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) organization UFC will present “UFC 294: Makachev vs. Volkanovski 2” on Nov. 22 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the main event, lightweight (70.3 kg) champion Islam Makachev (31, Russia) will once again defend his title against featherweight (65.8 kg) champion Alexander Volkanovskiy (35, Australia).

It’s the rematch everyone has been waiting for. Their meeting at UFC 284 in February is considered one of the greatest “champion vs. champion” superfights of all time. After a back-and-forth battle, Makachev defeated Volkanovski via unanimous decision. Despite the loss, Volkanovski took pride in winning the fight, not the match, as he knocked Makachev down in the fifth round.

The rematch was organized on short notice, 12 days before the event. Makachev’s original opponent, former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (34, Brazil), withdrew after suffering a lacerated right eyebrow. Volkanovski accepted the offer to replace him. He had little time to prepare for the fight as he had to cut weight, but he rose to the challenge like a champion.

Some might say that Volkanovski was taking on too much. But Volkanovsky says that despite the short time to prepare, he is ready for this match because he has been climbing to the top for 12 years. “The earth revolves around me now. It’s my destiny. I am the one to take down Makachev,” he proclaimed. “The risks are great, but the rewards are even greater. That’s what I’m after,” he concluded.

Accepting short-term offers is a risk for a champion. You’ve been practicing against a completely different opponent, and you might be open to unexpected blows. But Makachev says, “It’s just what a UFC champion does. If you’re a real champion, you have to take your fights, no matter how far in advance they are, no matter who they are.”

While the first round took place in Volkanovski’s home country of Australia, the second round will take place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which is practically Makachev’s home. As a Muslim, Makachev has the full support of local residents and businesses.

“I’m really happy that the UFC could have given me another opponent, but they gave me Volkanowski, because last time I fought him in his home, but this time it’s Abu Dhabi. Everything is on my side,” he said with satisfaction.

In the co-main event, former UFC welterweight (77.1 kg) champion Kamaru Usman (36, USA/Nigeria) will take on newcomer Hamzat Chimayev (29, UAE) at middleweight (83.9 kg).

This was another dramatic matchup. Chimayev’s original opponent, Paulo Costa (32, Brazil), who had moved up to middleweight, contracted a staph infection and was unable to compete. Usman stepped in nine days before the fight.

The rewards were too great to turn down for a short-term offer. UFC CEO Dana White announced that the winner of Usman vs. Khimayev would receive a title shot at middleweight champion Sean Strickland (32, USA).

Both fighters have strong wrestling with knockout power. Chimaev was a formidable opponent for Usman during his reign as welterweight champion 스포츠토토.

“Usman is a similar fighter to me. But he’s old school. If he’s an iPhone 5, I’m an iPhone Pro,” he declared. “He’s just out to make money,” he said.

To which Usman responded that “ignorance is sometimes a blessing.” “The iPhone Pro isn’t everything, sometimes the iPhone is just better,” he said, adding that “my fighting intelligence, my ability to read the situation is different.” He was confident in his victory.

The main card of UFC 294: Makachev vs. Volkanovski 2 will stream live on TVING starting at 3 a.m. ET on Nov. 22. The undercard will stream live on the same platform starting at 1 a.m. ET.


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