Returning to the beautiful and glamorous city of Abu Dhabi, the UFC delivered with another exciting PPV event, UFC 294.
Originally headlined by the rematch between defending Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev and former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, UFC 294 took a blow as Oliveira was out due to injury.
Nonetheless defending featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski replaced “do Bronx” to fight Makhachev once again for the lightweight title.
In our co-main event, undefeated powerhouse Khamzat Chimaev was originally scheduled to fight the dangerous Paulo Costa in a middleweight title eliminator fight. However, due to an elbow surgery, “Borrachinha” was replaced by former welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman.
Nevertheless the new matchups, along with the other matchups, did not disappoint! Now without further ado, let’s count down the Top 3 MMA Finishes from UFC 294!
3. Muhammad Mokaev vs. Tim Elliott
In the preliminary card, we have a flyweight matchup between undefeated prospect Muhammad Mokaev and TUF 24 winner Tim Elliott.
Boasting a record of 10-0 with 1 no contest, Mokaev was ranked number 11 in flyweight contention, whereas Elliott was ranked number 10 with a record of 20-12-1.
Round 1 began on the feet, but at 0:20, Elliott scored a double-leg takedown, with Mokaev in a butterfly guard.
Thanks to the guard, Mokaev took minimal damage and got back on his feet at 1:38. Although Elliott was pressing forward, Mokaev was landing more shots.
Mokaev shot for a takedown, but was denied and took two illegal knees by 2:38. Mokaev was good to go and the fight resumed on the feet.
After a flurry from Elliott, Mokaev scored a double-leg takedown of his own at 3:27, despite getting caught in a guillotine. Mokaev managed to get out, and Elliott kept Mokaev in a closed guard until the end of the round.
In round 2, Mokaev rushed from his corner to score another takedown, landing in half-guard and getting caught in another guillotine. Mokaev escaped, but at 0:57, Elliott transitioned to landing elbows from his back. Nonetheless, Mokaev stayed heavy on Elliott and on top.
At 2:57, Mokaev stood up and landed a hard shot, but got caught in an arm triangle attempt. Mokaev escaped by slamming Elliott at 3:11. Mokaev continued staying on top until the end of the round.
In round 3, Mokaev continued controlling the distance on the feet. At 0:23, he attempted a takedown but was denied, and Elliott used the opportunity to land a couple of knees to the head. However, the knees were illegal since Mokaev was a grounded opponent.
Once the fight resumed in the same position as before, Mokaev reversed and secured a fireman carry takedown.
As with the first 2 rounds, Mokaev constantly applied top pressure, and by 3:03, he submitted Elliott with an arm triangle choke from full mount.
Mokaev earned a Performance of the Night bonus and moved up to number 10 in the rankings.
2. Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves
To kick off the main card, we had the middleweight matchup between Ikram Aliskerov and Warlley Alves.
Having made a statement in his KO debut win against Phil Hawes, Aliskerov came into his second UFC appearance with a record of 14-1.
With a record of 15-6, Alves spent most of his career at welterweight, but he holds the distinction of handing Colby Covington his first loss and winning The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil Season 3 Middleweight tournament.
The first round started with Alves landing a few leg kicks, but Aliskerov later landed with punches and front kicks of his own.
At 1:56, he knocked Alves down with a jab. Alves got back up, but caught a high kick at 2:01 and a flying knee a second later.
Alves was forced back to the fence, and Aliskerov immediately followed with a barrage of punches to knock down Alves again and finish him off at 2:07.
Aliskerov earned his first Performance of the Night bonus.
Finally, we had the long anticipated main event, the rematch between reigning Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev and reigning Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski! And yes, it was for the lightweight title once again…
With a record of 24-1, Makhachev was the favorite in this matchup. With a 26-2 record at the time, Volkanovski’s last outing was a successful title defense at featherweight against interim champion Yair Rodriguez.
Moving back up to lightweight once again, Volkanovski sought redemption as well as another chance to achieve two-division champion status, and why not!
Islam started the fight with a few low and body kicks before going high at 1:03. At 1:08, he shot for takedown, but got denied. However, he transitioned into forcing Volkanovski against the cage and landing knees from the Muay Thai clinch.
The two broke from the clinch at 2:30, and by then, Volk had yet to land a single significant strike.
Makhachev continued landing body kicks, but at 3:01, Makhachev knocked Volkanovski down with a head kick. He followed with ground and pound to end the bout at 3:06 of round 1.
Successfully defending his title once again, Makhachev made a statement and earned another Performance of the Night bonus!