UFC & MMA Betting

UFC 294 Fight Card: Best Event of 2023?



Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong ahead of UFC 294. The card lost Charles Oliveira and Paulo Costa but got Volkanovski and Usman as replacements and we believe that it is even better now. Here is everything you need to know about the UFC 294 fight card.

UFC 294 Fight Card: Everything You Need to Know

Russian MMA versus the world? All five main card bouts have one famous Russian fighter, even though Khamzat Chimaev is fighting out of UAE nowadays. Several of the biggest stars from this part of the world are participating in this event – Makhachev, Chimaev, Ankalaev, Aliskerov, and Nurmagomedov.

UFC 294 Main and Co-Main Events

• Lightweight: Islam Makhachev (24-1-0) vs Alexander Volkanovski (26-2-0)
• Middleweight: Kamaru Usman (20-3-0) vs Khamzat Chimaev (12-0-0)

When this card was announced months ago, it was already big enough to be considered the best in 2023. Originally, we were supposed to have the rematch between Islam Machachev and Charles Oliveira, plus the highly anticipated Chimaev vs Costa.

In less than 24 hours, two weeks before the event, both Oliveira and Costa announced that they could not fight in Abu Dhabi. Charles Oliveira got a nasty cut during a sparring session and doctors told him that he will not recover on time.

On the other side, Paulo Costa has to undergo a new surgery after his recent elbow trauma which removed him from this card. And the UFC has never responded in such an unbelievable way.

Alexander Volkanovski and Kamaru Usman both stepped up on short notice with just 11 days left. The current best fighter in the world and the former king of the welterweight division. Unbelievable scenes. It does not matter if there are other top bouts on the UFC 294 fight card as the main and co-main events are already as good as it gets.

Volkanovski is seeking revenge after the judges gave Makhachev the win during their fight at UFC 284. We all know how questionable that decision is and this second bout will give us the necessary closure, no doubt.

Kamaru Usman has to restart his career after suffering two consecutive defeats to Leon Edwards. We all know how brilliant he is and this will be the biggest test for Khamzat Chimaev to date. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that it will be a middleweight bout.

UFC 294 Main Card

• Lightweight: Islam Makhachev (24-1-0) vs Alexander Volkanovski (26-2-0)
• Middleweight: Kamaru Usman (20-3-0) vs Khamzat Chimaev (12-0-0)
• Light-Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-1) vs Johnny Walker (21-7-0)
• Middleweight: Ikram Aliskerov (14-1-0) vs Warlley Alves (15-6-0)
• Bantamweight: Said Nurmagomedov (17-3-0) vs Muin Gafurov (18-5-0)

In the featured bout of the UFC 294 fight card, we have Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker. If you remember, Ankalaev last fought Jan Blachowicz for the vacant Light-Heavyweight title in December 2022. That fight was declared a Split Draw and nobody won the belt.

The new champion will be crowned next month, so this fight between Ankalaev and Walker will potentially determine the first contender for 2024. This is a huge risk for Ankalaev because Johnny is ranked 7th in the division.

In the next fight on the UFC fight card this weekend, we once again saw short notice due to Nassourdine Imavov's exit. Unranked Warlley Alves returns to the middleweight division for the first time in 9 years. He had a ton of success in the welterweight division in the past but he never had the consistency to become a top contender.

Earlier in the night, Said Nurmagomedov made a return against a tough prospect in Muin Gafurov. Both fighters are looking towards a spot in the Top 15 of the Bantamweight by winning this bout. Both fighters are coming from a defeat in their last UFC match.

UFC 294 Prelims

• Flyweight: Tim Elliott (20-12-1) vs Muhammad Mokaev (10-0-0)
• Lightweight: Mohammad Yahya (12-3-0) vs Trevor Peek (8-1-0)
• Bantamweight: Javid Basharat (14-0-0) vs Victor Henry (23-6-0)
• Middleweight: Abu Azaitar (14-3-1) vs Sedriques Dumas (8-1-0)
• Lightweight: Mike Breeden (10-6-0) vs Anshul Jubli (7-0-0)
• Featherweight: Nathaniel Wood (20-5-0) vs Muhammad Naimov (9-2-0)
• Women's Strawweight: Viktoriia Dudakova (7-0-0) vs Jihn Yu Frey (11-9-0)
• Middleweight: Shara Magomedov (11-0-0) vs Bruno Silva (23-9-0)

While the main card is as massive as a card can be, the prelims will feature a bunch of young fighters who want to prove themselves in this sport.

Tim Elliott is looking to win his third fight in a row and finally make a statement in the Flyweight division after being inconsistent for a few years. His opponent is unbeaten Muhammad Mokaev, who is coming from a win too.

Unbeaten Javid Basharat will face one of the most interesting prospects in the Bantamweight division, Victor Henry. Both fighters are obviously coming from wins and are looking towards the Top 15 in one of the most competitive divisions.

More or less, these are the two fights that we would look at in the prelims of the UFC 294 fight card. This will be one of the best events we have ever seen in MMA history.

Vlad is a former amateur MMA fighter. After a series of injuries, he found a different way to connect with the sport and its fanbase - through writing. He's been covering everything-UFC for over 5 years on various platforms and has been part of the team at NYFights since early 2022.