UFC confirms return to Abu Dhabi in October

The UFC has confirmed they’ll be returning to Abu Dhabi for UFC 281 on October 22.

Over the course of the last few years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has built quite the relationship with Abu Dhabi. Between their five-year partnership and the introduction of Fight Island at the start of the pandemic, the UFC has benefitted greatly from their trips to the Middle East.

A parade of stars have fought in the UAE under the UFC umbrella including Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Israel Adesanya and more.

Now, as confirmed by the promotion, they’ll be heading back once again this October with the promise of a title fight on the card at the Etihad Arena.

“I can’t wait to bring another event back to Abu Dhabi” said UFC President Dana White. “Every time we go there the events get bigger and better, and this year we are going all out and bringing back Abu Dhabi Showdown Week in addition to more incredible fights. Fans are not going to want to miss this one.”

Fatima Al Baloushi, Acting Director of Abu Dhabi Events Bureau, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said: “UFC and Abu Dhabi Showdown Week are massively popular and almost permanent fixtures on our Abu Dhabi Calendar. We strive to deliver the world’s best fighters and we are excited to bring yet another thrilling title bout to Abu Dhabi in October. We look forward to welcoming fans from around the world and showing them why Abu Dhabi is the ultimate UFC destination.”

Who will contest the title fight?

It’s purely speculation at this point given that we’re still over seven months away from UFC 281, but with the marketing teasing a ‘crowd-pleasing title bout’, you’d have to imagine there’s a good chance Islam Makhachev could finally get his shot at the lightweight strap.

Either way, the UFC appears to be gearing up for a mammoth event this autumn.

Eternal MMA 64 takes place early Saturday morning. The prelims will be streamed live on GiveMeSport’s official Facebook page, while the main card will be broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.

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