The former UFC champion responded to Makhachev’s finish by saying Volkanovski had been put to sleep by strikes landing on the back of the Australian’s head.
Midway through the first round of the main event, southpaw Makhachev skimmed his left shin off Volkanovski’s head, wobbling and dropping the featherweight king.
Makhachev followed up with a fierce flurry of hammer fists to the grounded Aussie, whose brow split open amid the onslaught.
Referee Marc Goddard stepped in, confirming an emphatic victory and title defence for Makhachev, the mentee and childhood friend of UFC lightweight great Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The result extended Makhachev’s win streak to 13 fights, dating back to 2015, when he suffered the sole loss of his professional career.
Meanwhile, Volkanovski was beaten for the third time as a pro, though he remains undefeated at his preferred weight of 145lbs.
Watching along, McGregor posted on Twitter/X that Volkanovski was vulnerable: “He was always susceptible to that vs a southpaw,” McGregor wrote.
However McGregor then responded to a fan pointing out that Volkanovski appeared to be hit on the back of his head, which is illegal.
“A difficult sport to ref,” McGregor wrote, in comments that have since been deleted.
“To stop that on a warning or a point deduction when volk was essentially out already is a tricky one. But there would be grounds for it, 100 per cent. Would have been nail biting stuff.
“I’d have loved to see it happen. Back of the head shots are not good.”