The disappointment for Oliveira, meanwhile, is understandably high. “Do Bronx” was adamant that he was too caught up in the intensity of the first fight with Makhachev, particularly after Oliveira was forced to vacate the title when he missed weight before knocking out Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 in Arizona, and thusly underperformed.
Oliveira, never a stranger to bouncing back from adversity, showed he was still one of the best lightweights in the world when he ran through Beneil Dariush at UFC 289, snapping Dariush’s 8-fight win streak.
While one can assume the winner in Abu Dhabi will face Oliveira next, it does get a bit more complicated should Volkanovski win a second belt. That opens the door to a trilogy, a Volkanovski-Oliveira fight or even a situation involving Justin Gaethje, whom many believed earned a title shot with his epic knockout win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 291 for the BMF title.
All that said, the Abu Dhabi fans are in for a treat with UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 on October 21.