Sudden Changes for UFC 294’s Main Event
Just when fans thought they had UFC 294’s main event figured out, a curveball has shifted the dynamics entirely. A surprise announcement reveals that featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will now be headlining the event, replacing Charles Oliveira due to an unforeseen injury.
From Oliveira vs. Makhachev to Volkanovski vs. Makhachev
Originally, the MMA world was gearing up for the Oliveira-Makhachev rematch for the lightweight title in Abu Dhabi. It was a bout that had fans on the edge of their seats, eagerly waiting for the showdown. Charles Oliveira, affectionately known as “Do Bronx”, was all set for this rematch. However, fate intervened.
“Unfortunately for “Do Bronx,” an injury has forced him out of the contest.”
Stepping into this high-stakes scenario, Alexander Volkanovski has agreed to face Islam Makhachev on remarkably short notice, giving the pay-per-view event a fresh and equally exciting main event.
MMA Community Weighs In
As expected, the sudden switch-up sent ripples through the MMA community, sparking a slew of reactions on social media platforms. This major UFC 294 news had fans and fighters alike commenting, discussing, and even throwing a few jabs. Of note is former UFC superstar Nate Diaz, known for not mincing his words. He didn’t pass up the opportunity to share his two cents on the situation, particularly targeting Oliveira.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL 😱
— UFC (@ufc) October 11, 2023
Volkanovski is the definition of a fighter. What a move on 11 days’ notice. Pulling this off would score epic GOAT points.
And props to Makhachev, who will get minimal credit for beating a short-notice Volkanovski and if he loses, will have his first win further doubted. https://t.co/w4HO0rhpC8
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohn) October 11, 2023
Charles Oliveira is indeed out, per Dana White. Alexander Volkanovski steps up to rematch Islam Makhachev. MMA is crazy. #UFC294
— Nolan King (@mma_kings) October 11, 2023
Major news from UFC tonight.
We still get a rematch in Abu Dhabi for the lightweight title, but a different one. https://t.co/7TgBR3lcjQ
— Matthew Wells (@MrMWells) October 11, 2023
— UFC (@ufc) October 11, 2023
Our office right now…
— UFC_AUSNZ (@UFC_AUSNZ) October 11, 2023
Been a while since we had a crazy PPV card shakeup like this at the (close to) 11th hour.
Feel for Oliveira. Horrible luck. But Islam x Volk 2 is an incredible alternative for the UFC. Credit to both men for accepting on such short notice.
And now we wait on the fate of…
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 11, 2023
Feel for Charles. Wish him a speedy recovery.
Volk a legend for accepting on 11 days notice.
Islam a G for agreeing to the rematch too.
Gamrot must be pissed.
This sport man. Nothing like it. pic.twitter.com/6bpB7m35Mg
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) October 11, 2023
Since we’re getting the rematch in 11 days: Here’s Alex Volkanovski screaming at Islam and punch him for the last minute of their fourth round. pic.twitter.com/6oZFtsxKfr
— Oscar Willis (@oscarswillis) October 11, 2023
Crotch injury just like Dustin porier 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/Trn0DwvCyx
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) October 11, 2023
— Hyon Ko (@KoreanJohn_) October 11, 2023
Something to watch is how the Islam/Volk fight impacts UFC 297, expected to be held in Toronto, which was reportedly going to be headlined by Volkanovski vs. Topuria.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 11, 2023
Volk is a gangsta!
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) October 11, 2023
“Charles is out, Volk is in”
— Proper. Mike Malott (@Michael_Malott) October 11, 2023
— Casey Oneill (@kingcaseymma) October 11, 2023
Probably the guy with the best chance of beating Islam, and the first fight was a banger so I’m all in for it 🔥🔥 https://t.co/lvQ2H6nsmm
— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) October 11, 2023
— Jasmine Jasudavicius (@JasJasudavicius) October 11, 2023
🤷🏼♂️ sometimes I hate being right https://t.co/AGJ4CT7sDU
— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) October 11, 2023
— José Youngs (@JoseYoungs) October 11, 2023
— michael (@bisping) October 11, 2023
*whispers* Ilia vs. Max
— Eric Jackman (@NewYorkRic) October 11, 2023
When you find out Chucky Olives is out but then you find out Volk is in pic.twitter.com/4m6sb1M6c8
— Chad Dundas (@chaddundas) October 11, 2023
Yes, they did call and I did say yes https://t.co/5hWT29Nb4u
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 11, 2023
“Nate Diaz… took shots at Oliveira for pulling out of the fight.”
While some reactions were expected, the sheer volume and intensity of the response highlight just how significant and unexpected this change was for many. Looking Ahead to the New Main Event Despite the unexpected change, fans can still anticipate a thrilling contest. The Volkanovski-Makhachev matchup promises fireworks, and the MMA universe is now adjusting its focus towards this new headline bout. The UFC 294 shakeup is a reminder of the unpredictable nature of the sport, where anything can happen both inside and outside the octagon. As fans rally behind their favorite fighters and adjust their expectations, the stage is set for another unforgettable showdown in Abu Dhabi.