Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has a new opponent for his UFC 294 bout, with Australian superstar Alexander Volkanovski stepping up for a rematch.
Lightweight contender Charles Oliveira has been ruled out due to an injury suffering during sparring, splitting his eyebrow “wide open” according to Dana White.
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White confirmed the heavily-anticipated rematch on Wednesday following the finale of the latest Contender Series, with Volkanovski having just 11 more days to prepare.
“The Volkanovski crew … these guys are just absolute studs,” White said.
“He jumps in and he accepts the fight.”
White admitted the entire situation could have been different if Oliveira’s camp had called him before getting treatment for their man.
“Had it stitched up last night … they didn’t call us, we would have had him go to a plastic surgeon that would have sewed it from the inside out,” White said.
“Get that thing done the right way, they never call us when these things happen, they call us after.
“But I can see him not wanting to risk it, getting a shot like this.”
Volkanovksi and Makhachev’s last bout came in February, with the current featherweight champion coming desperately close to dethroning his opponent.
The Aussie champion has since defended his featherweight title, beating Yair Rodriguez, while a fight against Ilia Topuria loomed as his next bout.
Volkanovski will now get his second chance at becoming a two-division champion and potentially take over Jon Jones as men’s pound-for-pound leader.
Their fight is scheduled to take place on in Abu Dhabi on October 22 at 5am AEST.
Originally published as Volkanoski, Islam rematch on after Oliveira injury for UFC 294