Less than two weeks ago, the UFC was forced to shuffle its lineup for Saturday’s UFC 294 pay-per-view event in Abu Dhabi. Somehow, this second version looks better than the original.
Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (24-1) and featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski (26-2), arguably the top two pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, will meet in a rematch of their classic 155-pound championship bout in February. Volkanovski took the fight on just 11 days’ notice, after Makhachev’s original opponent Charles Oliveira withdrew with a cut.
In the co-main event, former welterweight king — and No. 1 pound-for-pound candidate — Kamaru Usman (20-3) will try to upset the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev (12-0), who says he feels invincible despite a relatively unproven track record against elite competition. Usman also took this middleweight fight on short notice, replacing Chimaev’s initial opponent, Paulo Costa.
It’s one of the most talent-rich events of the year for the UFC. Follow along as Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi recap all the action, or watch the fights live on ESPN+ PPV.