UFC 294: Date, time and who’s on the card in Abu Dhabi

Islam Makhachev's lightweight title defence against Alexander Volkanovski headlines the event at Etihad Arena

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The UFC returns to the UAE for UFC 294 this month with a typically stacked card, despite some late changes. Here is everything you need to know about the event.

What is it?

UFC 294 is a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest MMA promotion in the world. It will feature a total of 13 fights – eight on the preliminary card and five on the main card. The main event will be a world title fight.

Where is it?

UFC 294 will take place at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The venue has become the home of UFC events in the UAE.

When is it?

UFC 294 will be held on Saturday, October 21. The preliminary bouts start at 6pm, with the main event fights expected to begin at 10pm.

Who's fighting?

UFC 294 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Islam Makhachev and flyweight belt holder Alexander Volkanovski.

Makhachev (24-1 as a professional) was scheduled to face Charles Oliveira in a rematch – having beaten the Brazilian for the vacant title in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280 in October last year – but the former lightweight champion sustained an injury in training on Monday and was forced to withdraw.

It meant Volkanovski (26-2) stepped in at 11 days' notice and the Australian will be aiming for his own shot at redemption: his only loss in the UFC came against Makhachev this February in Perth in Makhachev's first title defence.

The co-main event was hit with an even later change. No 4-ranked welterweight Khamzat Chimaev was scheduled to make another step up to middleweight to face sixth-ranked Paulo Costa but the Brazilian withdrew with injury on Wednesday night. Costa has been replaced by former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who will make his middleweight debut.

UFC 294 will also see history being made as Mohammed Yahya becomes the first Emirati to fight in the UFC when he enters the octagon against American Trevor Peek at lightweight.

Other notable bouts include a clash of middleweight contenders in Nassourdine Imavov and Ikram Aliskerov, while former light-heavyweight title challenger Magomed Ankalaev takes on Johnny Walker, and top prospect Muhammad Mokaev meets Tim Elliott at flyweight.

Mohammed Yahya to make history as first Emirati to fight in UFC

Mohammed Yahya to make history as first Emirati to fight in UFC

UFC 294 Fight Card

Main Card

  • Lightweight title: Islam Makhachev (c) v Alexander Volkanovski
  • Middleweight: Kamaru Usman v Khamzat Chimaev
  • Light Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev v Johnny Walker
  • Middleweight: Ikram Aliskerov v Warlley Alves
  • Bantamweight: Said Nurmagomedov v Muin Gafurov

Preliminary Card

  • Flyweight: Tim Elliott v Muhammad Mokaev
  • Lightweight: Mohammad Yahya v Trevor Peek
  • Bantamweight: Javid Basharat v Victor Henry
  • Middleweight: Abu Azaitar v Sedriques Dumas
  • Lightweight: Mike Breeden v Anshul Jubli
  • Featherweight: Nathaniel Wood v Muhammad Naimov
  • Women's Strawweight: Victoria Dudakova v Jinh Yu Frey
  • Middleweight: Sharabutdin Magomedov v Bruno Silva

How to watch UFC 294

Tickets to attend UFC 294 sold out quickly, but fans unable to watch the event inside Etihad Arena can catch all the action on UFC Arabia.

Updated: October 12, 2023, 7:03 AM