UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has suffered his first stoppage loss in the UFC, suffering a first round KO loss to Islam Makhachev in the lightweight division.
The two met in the main event of UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi in a fight for Makhachev’s lightweight championship.
Despite Volkanovski effectively using his wrestling defence to keep on the feet, Makhachev found success with his striking, landing a head kick which dropped the featherweight champion, before finishing him with strikes.
The pair first faced off earlier this year at UFC 284 in Perth, Makhachev coming away with a controversial decision victory and retaining his lightweight title. Makhachev was originally slated to face former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 294, however Oliveira was forced out of the bout due to an injury sustained in training, leaving Volkanovski to step in on 12-days’ notice.
In the cage after the fight, Makhachev credited the Aussie for taking the fight on short notice.
“Thank you to this guy. He’s a real champion. You have to train all your life to beat this guy, thank you Alex.” He said.
“I show him, first of all, a couple of low kicks and body kicks, then a head kick.”
Volkanovski gave props to his opponent in the cage after the fight.
“It’s hard. I don’t like losing. [Makhachev]’s a great champion, what do you do?…Credit to Islam. Great kick, what else do I say?”
Despite the loss, Volkanovski is still targeting a January match up with featherweight challenger Ilia Topuria.
“UFC. Please keep me busy, I don’t do well when I’m not fighting…I’m happy to go back in January.” Said Volkanovski.
Volkanovski last fought at featherweight in July, where he defended his title against Yair Rodriguez, before having elbow surgery, keeping him out of the training room.