In their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 294, Islam Makhachev delivered a stunning first-round knockout, once again proving his dominance and retaining the lightweight gold against Alexander Volkanovski. This bout was a rematch from their previous clash in February, where Makhachev narrowly outpointed the Australian in Sydney.
Just 11 days before the event, Makhachev’s original opponent, former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, suffered an injury, which created a chance for ‘The Great’ to step in. The 35-year-old accepted the opportunity with open hands to seek redemption for his close loss to the Dagestani earlier in 2023. However, it was the Russian lightweight who emerged victorious to retain his belt once again.
In the co-main event at UFC 294, former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman faced his third consecutive career loss in a middleweight bout against the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev.
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‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ stepped in on only 10 days’ notice to replace Brazilian middleweight Paulo Costa, who had recently undergone consecutive elbow surgeries just before the fight. Despite the short notice and competing in a different weight class, the former UFC champion displayed an impressive performance against one of the sport’s most feared fighters but ultimately lost by a majority decision.
All in all, it was a high-profile event despite so many last-minute fight cancellations. Naturally, many fight fans from all around the world joined the live action at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Among them were some popular personalities, too. Let us have a look at the celebrities who were at UFC 294.
Celebrity guests who were present at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Swedish soccer legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined the live action at UFC 294, where he was supporting Khamzat Chimaev, who has recently renounced his Swedish citizenship. Zlatan would be a happy man as his favorite fighter secured yet another dominant victory to retain his undefeated record.
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Joining the soccer star were other well-known figures from different fields, including Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Aikido black belt Steven Seagal, who has extensive connections to martial arts. Comedian and podcaster Andrew Schulz was also present in the arena to witness one of the best fight cards of the year. Schulz has a deep interest in combat sports and has done podcasts with many UFC stars on his channel, Flagrant.
These were some of the big names that witnessed the lightweight king Islam Makhachev ending the rivalry with Alexander Volkanovski with a brutal head kick. They also noticed some really fast finishes by the likes of Ikram Aliskerov and Said Nurmagomedov. Which fight did you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments.