In the highly anticipated UFC 294 showdown, Islam Makahchev delivered a strong head-kick KO that left Alexander Volkanovski reeling. This crucial move was executed by the reigning lightweight champion and ultimately sealed Volkanovski’s fate.
The impact of the kick was evident as Volkanovski staggered backwards, struggling to regain his composure. Makhachev swiftly followed up with a relentless ground-and-pound attack, forcing the referee to intervene and stop the match. Former ISKA kickboxing World Champion and Makhachev’s current coach Javier Mendez couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.
Anatomy of a Fighter is a monthly web series dedicated to combat sports. They had been meticulously documenting the journey leading up to this monumental bout.
The episode titled ‘Anatomy of UFC 294 Finale’ offered a comprehensive look into the training camps of both Volkanovski and Makhachev. This captivating footage provided glimpses into the preparations before and the celebrations after the bout.
The video unveiled an intriguing sparring session between Magomed and Makhachev. Magomed skillfully set up a series of head and body kicks, a strategy that Makhachev flawlessly executed in the ring.
🎥 Islam threw 7 kicks in 2 minutes of stand up. Plan made by coach Magomed 🧠 pic.twitter.com/qoRfg8uSBu
— HOME OF FIGHT (@home_of_fight) October 24, 2023
Mendez was in awe of Magomed’s tactical acumen and stated: “He [Magomed] is the one who did it! He said coach, we are gonna go body, body, head – Voila! He did it. He doesn’t want to take the credit. He needs to take the credit. It was his idea. His gameplan.”
Mendez showered Makhachev with well-deserved praise for his exceptional skills and the resounding victory. The locker room was filled with happy faces. However, Mendez emphasized the inherent unpredictability of any match.
In an interview with Submission Radio, he reflected: “There was unclarity [on the first fight]. I wanted it to be clear and definitive. You know, hey, it’s over, move on, that’s it. I wanted that for that reason for me personally, and obviously for Islam – but me, too.”
“[On the second fight] I’ll tell you what, in all honesty, I’m glad it didn’t go more than one round, because then there was going to be doubt again – not enough training, not enough this, not enough that.”
Following UFC 294, UFC CEO Dana White expressed interest in arranging a rematch between Makhachev and Charles Oliveira. The latter was initially slated to face Makhachev but suffered an injury during training.
Despite White’s eagerness, Makhachev seemed hesitant about the idea. Having already secured a victory over Oliveira at UFC 280, Makhachev didn’t seem to be all that enthusiastic or convinced about the concept.
Mendez has said that he believes Oliveira might have missed his chance for a rematch, at least for the time being.