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Charles Oliveira out at UFC 294, huge rematch now looms

What looked like a potential disaster could instead be a godsend for Dana White and the UFC.

Speaking at a Contender Series 66 news conference on Tuesday night, the UFC president announced that former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira suffered an injury during training and is out of the main event at UFC 294, scheduled for Oct. 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

However, White immediately announced a replacement to face champion Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title — featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

The main event now becomes a rematch of one the most celebrated UFC fights in recent memory, a unanimous-decision victory for Makhachev at UFC 284 in February that easily won Fight of the Night honors and an additional $50,000 for each fighter.

As was the case with the first clash against Makhachev, Volkanovski will move up in weight class for the fight.

Makhachev, who hasn’t fought since his last fight with Volkanovski, is 24-1 with four knockouts. Volkanovski is 26-2 with 13 knockouts.

According to White, Oliveira (34-9, 10 knockouts) suffered a cut on his eyebrow in his final round of sparring Monday night.

“This is how we do it, brother,” White said at the news conference. “One fight falls out and we end up making a fight — it’s one of the most anticipated rematches ever in that weight class.”

–Field Level Media

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