Islam Makhachev (R) (Getty/UFC)

UFC 294 Shakeup: Khamzat Chimaev and Islam Makhachev Get New Opponents

UFC 294 is upcoming on Saturday, Oct. 21, hosted from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. With less than two weeks before the event, two fights on the card had shakeups due to injuries. Khamzat Chimaev and Islam Makhachev have been booked with new opponents.

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski 2

Originally, the UFC main event was going to be a rematch between Brazil’s Charles Oliveira attempting to retake the lightweight throne from Islam Makhachev. “Do Bronx” Oliveira had defeated fighters such as Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and Michael Chandler, before losing the lightweight title to the Dagestani-born Islam Makhachev. Due to a severe cut, the former champion Oliveira was forced to pull out of the uFC 294 main event.

Instead, it will be a rebooking of a contender for the fight of the year as the featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski will step up in weight once again to take on Makhachev. The Australian Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski is a top pound-for-pound talent with notable wins over fighters such as Brian Ortega, Max Holloway, and “The Korean Zombie” Jung Chan-sung, among others.


Islam Makhachev is currently on a 12-fight unbeaten streak. The protege of Khabib Nurmagomedov has impressive wins over fighters such as Arman Tsarukyan, Drew Dober, Bobby Green, and others. Makhachev was able to get his hand raised when he and Volkanovski faced off earlier in 2023.

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski 2 will be a battle for the UFC Lightweight World Title, it is the main event of UFC 294. Dagestan’s Makhachev is looking to add his second title defense while Volkanovski is looking to make history by becoming a two-division world champion.

Khamzat Chimaev vs Kamaru Usman

“Borz” Khamzat Chimaev was initially set to fight Paulo Costa in a middleweight bout. The Brazilian athlete Costa suffered a staph infection on his elbow which required surgery, thus he was unable to compete in Abu Dhabi.

In a last-minute switch, the former welterweight world champion “The Nigerian Nightmare” Kamaru Usman stepped up to take on Chimaev. Usman had defended his welterweight title in five bouts before losing his crown earlier in 2022. This is the first time Usman has competed at middleweight.

Chimaev is an undefeated fighter at a perfect 12-0, who jumped between the welterweight and middleweight division. In his UFC career, he won half of his bouts by way of first-round stoppage.

Reportedly, the winner of Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman will step to the front of the line to fight the reigning champion Sean Strickland for the UFC middleweight title.

UFC 294

Also featured at UFC 294, in a Light Heavyweight match, Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker will face off. Headlining the prelims will see Muhammad Mokaev look to extend his unbeaten streak against Tim Elliott. Plus, Said Nurmagomedov will look to get back in the win column in the bantamweight division with a win over Muin Gafurov.