Alexander Volkanovski wanted to get one back against Islam Makhachev on short notice, but things went wrong quickly in his second opportunity to win a second UFC title.
The UFC featherweight champion stepped in on less than two weeks’ notice to replace Charles Oliveira, who could not compete against Islam Makhachev in the UFC 294 main event due to a nasty cut suffered in one of his final sparring sessions. Volkanovski raised his hand and entered with confidence, saying he was looking to finish Makhachev in their lightweight title rematch.
Unfortunately for Volkanovski, he was the one who was stopped in the first round after a powerful head kick found its mark.
Despite the outcome, Volkanovski didn’t waste time saying he wanted to remain active. He’s already eyeing a placement on January’s UFC 297 card for a featherweight title fight against Ilia Topuria. Is that the right play, or should he take some time off after a devastating finish? Was there anything else that stood out about Volkanovski’s performance in Abu Dhabi?
We asked our “Spinning Back Clique” to discuss the biggest takeaway for Volkanovski in this loss. Farah Hannoun, Nolan King, and Brian “Goze” Garcia discuss with host “Gorgeous” George Garcia.
You can watch their conversation in the video above, and check out this week’s full episode below on YouTube or in podcast form.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.
“Spinning Back Clique” is released each Monday LIVE on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel at noon ET. You can also find each episode on your favorite podcast platforms – including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more – on Tuesday mornings.