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UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 - Odds, Predictions & Picks

Written by: Ryan Bristlon
Published October 18, 2023
10 min read
  • The main and co-main events see last-minute changes just days before the event
  • Volkanovski gets a second chance to become a double champ with just 11 days notice
  • Former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman moves up to 185 pounds for co-main

UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings sportsbook. Click our link and place your bets at DraftKings.

(C) Islam Makhachev-245
(FC) Alexander Volkanovski+200
Kamaru Usman+235
Khamzat Chimaev-290
Magomed Ankalaev-340
Johnny Walker+270
Ikram Aliskerov-550
Warlley Alves+410
Said Nurmagomedov-225
Muin Gafurov+185

UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 - Picks & Predictions

UFC Makhachev vs Volkanovski Predictions

(C) Islam Makhachev vs (FC) Alexander Volkanovski - Lightweight championship

Our pick: Alexander Volkanovski (+200)

Kamaru Usman vs Khamzat Chimaev - Middleweight division

Our pick: Kamaru Usman (+235)

Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker - Light Heavyweight division

Our pick: Magomed Ankalev (-340)

Ikram Aliskerov vs Warlley Alves - Middleweight division

Our pick: Ikram Aliskerov (-550)

Said Nurmagomedov vs Muin Gafurov - Bantamweight division

Our pick: Ikram Aliskerov (-225)

Sign up at DraftKings, place a first real money bet of minimum $5 and get $200 in bonus bets.

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski - Lightweight division

Islam MakhachevTALE OF THE TAPEAlexander Volkanovski
5 ft 10 inHeight5 ft 6 in
70 inReach71 in

After how close their first fight was, you’d think the odds between these two would be closer. But with Volkanovski, the featherweight champion, stepping in on just 11 days notice to replace Charles Oliveira, the oddsmakers have put their belief in Makhachev.

Having defeated Volkanovski by unanimous decision at UFC 284, Makhachev is listed as the -245 favorite for this Saturday’s main event. 

A win over Volkanovski this weekend will mark his thirteenth win in a row.

Volkanovski is no stranger to winning streaks himself, as he was on a 22-fight streak before his loss to Makhachev. After that loss, Volkanovski moved himself back into the win column after moving back to 145 pounds to defend his featherweight title against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290. He defeated Rodriguez via third-round TKO.

With such short notice to step into such a huge main event, it’s easy to deem Volkanovski’s chances to win as quite low. But if anyone is game to upset Makhachev, it’s the featherweight king.

Makhachev will stand four inches taller but it is surprisingly Volkanovski who will have the one-inch advantage in the reach department.

Volkanovski is listed at +200.

To find out how to place your bets for this featherweight main event, check out our ultimate UFC betting guide to get started.

Kamaru Usman vs Khamzat Chimaev - Middleweight division

Kamaru UsmanTALE OF THE TAPEKhamzat Chimaev
6 ftHeight6 ft 2 in
76 inReach75 in

Moving up to the middleweight division for the first time in his career, former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is stepping in as a last-minute replacement for Paulo Costa to take on the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev.

Chimaev, ranked at number-four in the welterweight division, also normally competes at 170 pounds. However, he was moving up to face his rival Costa in what would have been Chimaev’s third 185-pound fight in the UFC.

The undefeated fighter is coming off a first-round submission win over Kevin Holland at UFC 279 last September.

Usman is coming off of back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, having lost his welterweight title to Leon Edwards at UFC 278 and also losing their subsequent rematch that took place at UFC 286 this past March.

Chimaev will stand two inches taller but Usman will have a one-inch edge in reach. Call us crazy, but could Usman be the guy to deliver Chimaev his first professional loss? At +235, we like Usman as the upset.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker - Light Heavyweight division

Magomed AnkalaevTALE OF THE TAPEJohnny Walker
6 ft 3 inHeight6 ft 5 in
75 inReach82 in

After mixed success in his early UFC career, Johnny Walker now finds himself with a new team and riding a three-fight winning streak into his light heavyweight bout against Magomed Ankalaev.

After submitting Ion Cutelaba and earning a TKO over Paul Craig, Walker most recently defeated former title challenger Anthony Smith via unanimous decision this past May.

Ankalaev’s last win also came over Anthony Smith, whom he earned a second-round TKO over at UFC 277. However, he enters Saturday’s fight against Walker coming off of a majority draw. He took on Jan Blachowicz for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 282 last December and both men left empty-handed. Ankalaev has not fought since.

Not many fighters get a size advantage over Ankalaev, but Walker is one of the few, as he will stand two inches taller and have a seven-inch reach advantage.

However, despite his inactivity, the oddsmakers still favor Ankalaev as a -340 favorite.

Ikram Aliskerov vs Warlley Alves - Middleweight division

Ikram AliskerovTALE OF THE TAPEWarlley Alves
6 ftHeight5 ft 11 in
76 inReach72 in

Ikram Aliskeriov has had quite the ride leading up to this bout against Warlley Alves. 

Originally slated to face Paulo Costa at UFC 291, that bout was scrapped and It was decided that Aliskerov would fight Nassourdine Imavov on this UFC 294 card instead. 

However, Imavov withdrew from the card due to visa issues and Aliskerov now finds himself scheduled to face off against Alves.

Aliskerov is currently on a six-fight winning streak which includes his UFC debut win over Phil Hawes - whom he knocked out in the first round of their UFC 288 bout.

Alves is just 2-4 in his last six fights and will be at both a height and reach disadvantage against Aliskerov this weekend.

At -550, Aliskerov is the largest betting favorite on the UFC 294 card.

Said Nurmagomedov vs Muin Gafurov - Bantamweight division

Said NurmagomedovTALE OF THE TAPEMuin Gafurov
5 ft 8 inHeight5 ft 7 in
70 inReach68 in

Kicking off Saturday’s main card, Said Nurmagomedov looks to get back into the win column after recently having his four-fight winning streak snapped by Jonathan Martinez back in March.

Nurmagomedov takes on UFC newcomer Muin Gafurov - a fighter who lost his UFC debut in the summer via unanimous decision at the hands of John Castaneda.

These two men have an almost even number of professional bouts to their names but it is Nurmagomedov who has the edge in experience, having fought under the bright lights of the UFC since 2018. The Russian-born fighter will also stand one inch taller and have a two-inch reach advantage over Gafurov.

Nurmagomedov is a -225, which means he is the SMALLEST betting favorite on the main card. Wow.

How to Watch UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2

  • Location: Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • When: Saturday, October 21
  • Time: 2 PM EST
  • How to Watch: PPV, UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+
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Ryan Bristlon

433 Articles

Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.

Email: [email protected]

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