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Makhachev KOs Volkanovski to keep UFC lightweight title

MANILA, Philippines – Sometimes, you should be careful about what you wish for.

Prior to UFC 294, Alexander Volkanovski said that he wanted the fight against Islam Makhachev to end early and that he would be in and out.

He sure was out at the 3:06 mark of the first round. Except it wasn’t the result he wanted.

The rematch between Volkanovski and Makhachev for the latter’s lightweight belt went the same route as their first encounter — a win by the Russian. Only this time, it was more convincing.

A high leg kick, just above the right hand guard of Volkanovski knocked him for a loop. The Australian’s legs wobbled, and Makhachev waded in for the kill.

Dropping nine hammer strikes at the fallen Volkanovski, referee Marc Goddard waded in to wave off Makhachev. 

Prior to the knockout, Makhachev hit some early leg kicks, including a high kick that foreshadowed the knockout. 

“Uh uh,” said Volkanovski, who was prepared for that.

But that was about it. He only had one leg kick with zero significant strikes while Makhachev landed a few kicks, including a strike right to the Australian’s face.

And now, not only does Makhachev reign supreme in the 155-pound weight class, but he ended this rivalry. Furthermore, if he didn’t become the best pound-for-pound fighter last time, this one should seal the deal with an impressive 25-1-0 record.

Volkanovski’s loss ends his chance to become a two-division champion and drops his overall record to 26-3-0 with two of the losses coming at the hands of the Russian.

Said Makhachev, "Honestly, I have a great team and we always did this (head kick) in the locker room. They pushed me very hard and that's why it happened today. I showed him some low kicks and then went high. We planned it for Oliveira and used it for Volkanovski. This is my second home, this is because of you who support me, thank you. Thank you to Volkanovski, he's a real champion."

UFC 294 was televised live over the Premier Sports Channel on Skycable and Cignal as well as on the TapGo TV and Blast TV streaming sites. 

The fourth to the last UFC event for 2023 is UFC Fight Night: Jailton Almeida (19-2-0) and Derrick Lewis (27-11-0), which will take place on Sunday, November 5