The Scope of UFC 294 has been changing rapidly this week, most notably with Oliveira needing to withdraw from his main event lightweight championship rematch with Islam Makhachev.
It was reported on Tuesday that Oliveira suffered an injury in his final round of sparring in preparation for the upcoming bout in Abu Dhabi.
“Round five of sparring last night, before [Charles Oliveira] was supposed to jump on a plane today, splits his eyebrow wide open,” said White during the post-fight press conference following DWCS on Tuesday. “Had it stitched up last night. Obviously, can’t fly out there with that. It would be one thing, too, if we — they didn’t call us. We’d have had him go to a plastic surgeon that would have sewed it from the inside out and get that thing done the right way.”
Shortly after the news broke on Tuesday, Oliveira took to social media to share just how severe the cut really is, and it is more than clear that there is no way he would be able to compete in the near future.
I apologize pic.twitter.com/TYes4iNUn0
— Charles 'DoBronxs' Oliveira (@CharlesDoBronxs) October 11, 2023
In light of Oliveira’s injury, featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski has stepped up on short notice and will now face Makhachev, in a rematch that UFC fans worldwide have been hoping for.
In their first meeting at UFC 284 in February, Makhachev walked away with an extremely closely scored decision victory, now Volkanovski will get a second attempt at becoming a UFC double champion.