Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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MMA Preview: UFC 294 – Islam Makhachev (24-1-0) vs. Aleksander Volkanovski (26-2-0) 2

The reigning UFC Lightweight Champion was originally meant to fight Charles Oliveira in the UFC 294 headliner, but the Brazilian got injured less than two weeks before the event. As a result, we’ve got a new main event – Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2.

Islam Makhachev vs. Aleksander Volkanovski 2 Odds
Moneyline Odds
Islam Makhachev -245
Aleksander Volkanovski +200
*Odds taken from Sports Odds Direct on Friday, October 20.

When, Where, and How to Watch?
Place: Etihad Arena in Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: PPV

If you’re wondering why Islam Makhachev is a -260 favorite to beat Alex Volkanovski, the No. 1 reason is that he’s already done it. Makhachev beat Volkanovski by unanimous decision in February.

The fight in question took place in Volk’s home country of Australia. This time, however, the two meet in the United Arab Emirates, where the crowd is likely to be on the side of the Dagestani fighter.

Another reason why Makhachev’s odds are so short is that he’s had a full camp, which isn’t the case with Volk. Sure, he did prepare for a fight with Charles Oliveira, who’s a bit different fighter than his new opponent.

However, the preparation for his second title defense did turn Makhachev into a real beast – he looks more ripped than he’s ever been.

Aleksander Volkanovski said he’s coming off the couch to fight Makhachev, claiming he feels no pressure to win this fight. If he wins, great, he’s a double champ. If not, he’s got other things to look forward to.

But you can be 100% sure Volk isn’t coming to the UAE to raise a white flag. He’s a fantastic fighter who used to be No. 1 in the UFC Pound-For-Pound Rankings. His record is 26-2, with his first loss happening in his fourth professional fight, back in 2013.

His second loss happened more than 10 years later when Makhachev beat him after five rounds of intense fighting. What’s interesting about that fight is that it was Volk’s first lightweight fight since 2016.

He’s smaller than Makhachev, as well as (probably) less powerful, but the fact is that he did knock Makhachev down in their previous fight. The reason why he lost is that the Dagestani fighter just did better wrestling-wise. He made four takedowns on Volk, which is the most anyone’s ever done to the Australian.

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