Best UFC 294 Odds: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski, Chimaev vs. Usman Betting Angles

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Written By Ben Fowlkes | Last Updated
ufc 294 odds

On Saturday, the UFC is in Abu Dhabi for a pay-per-view event headlined by a lightweight title rematch. UFC 294 odds favor the defending 155-pound champion Islam Makhachev as he again faces 145-pound champ Alexander Volkanovski, moving up a division on less than two weeks’ notice for this bout.

In the co-main event, undefeated contender Khamzat Chimaev faces a short-notice replacement of his own when he welcomes former 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman to the UFC’s middleweight class.

Before we dive into a full analysis of the main card, here’s a look at the best UFC 294 odds and the best sportsbook promo codes being offered this weekend. Click on any of the links below to head to the best UFC betting sites for the best UFC odds.

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UFC 294 Main Card

Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker

Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves

Muin Gafurov vs. Said Nurmagomedov

UFC 294 Prelims

Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev

Trevor Peek vs. Mohammad Yahya

Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry

Abu Azaitar vs. Sedriques Dumas

Mike Breeden vs. Anshul Jubli

Muhammad Naimov vs. Nathaniel Wood

Viktoriia Dudakova vs. Jinh Yu Frey

Shara Magomedov vs. Bruno Silva


Prelims on ESPN+, 10 a.m. ET

Main card on ESPN+ pay-per-view, 2 p.m. ET


The first time these two met was back in February, when Makhachev won a unanimous decision victory to retain the UFC lightweight title. There were moments in that fight where his size advantage over the featherweight champ Volkanovski was particularly noticeable and helpful – especially in some of the heavy striking exchanges early on – but Volkanovski was coming on strong in the final round.

The big difference in the rematch is that Makhachev has been training for a five-round fight on this date, while Volkanovski hasn’t. The original plan here was for Makhachev to rematch former lightweight champ Charles Oliveira. But when Oliveira suffered a cut in training, the UFC called Volkanovski, who accepted the bout on eleven days’ notice.

Fighting up a weight class is hard enough as it is, especially against a champ of Makhachev’s caliber. Doing it when you haven’t had the benefit of a training camp to get ready for five full rounds is either a sign of extreme confidence or extreme recklessness.


Don’t be surprised if the short-notice nature of this fight forces some changes to Volkanovski’s strategy. Normally he likes to take his time and chip away at opponents, but time may not be on his side this time. Many fighters who have reason to question their own cardio adjust by getting more aggressive right away. The tough part is that Makhachev can be especially dangerous in the first couple of rounds. With the longer rehydration window after weigh-ins this time, he should have the size and preparation advantage. That’s a lot of variables in the lightweight champ’s favor here.

Method of Victory


For about as long as he’s been in the UFC we’ve been waiting to see Chimaev face a real test against a true middleweight. That was the original plan when the UFC booked him against former title challenger Paulo Costa. But an elbow infection forced Costa out, and now the former welterweight champ Usman will make his UFC middleweight debut on short notice against Chimaev.

This is a tough stylistic matchup for Usman. His game is built on a foundation of jabs and takedowns. Here he faces an opponent who’s bigger and rangier, while also being an excellent wrestler himself. Usman won’t be able to ragdoll Chimaev the way he could most welterweights, and if he tries to fight on the outside he’ll likely face a whole different set of problems.


Even if he weren’t taking this on short notice it would be a tough matchup for Usman. His best bet might be that he can draw Chimaev into a brawl – something fellow welterweight Gilbert Burns successfully did – and get him to fight away from his own strengths in the process. But if it turns into a grappling match there are probably too many factors stacked against Usman here.

Method of Victory

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker

Ankalaev is coming off a disappointing split draw in his bid to claim the light heavyweight title, and here he gets an advantageous matchup against a beatable, though at times unpredictable opponent, in Walker. Just based on all-around skill, Ankalaev should win this inside the distance. But Walker is just weird and wild enough that he’s always an upset threat.

Method of Victory

Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves

Alves is a late replacement here, and the result is what looks like a showcase fight for Aliskerov, whose only career loss came outside the UFC against Chimaev. Alves, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back defeats and is essentially being fed to the rising Russian contender.

Method of Victory

Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov

It’s tempting to see the name Nurmagomedov and think it’s a lock, but Said isn’t Khabib. Gafurov has some legit skills and is probably better than he was able to show in his UFC debut, which is when the first-time jitters have gotten the better of many men.

Method of Victory