UFC bountiful bouts in Abu Dhabi till 2028


UFC extends partnership with Abu Dhabi Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi – have extended their partnership until 2028, which will see the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization bringing championship and other bouts to the Emirate every year.

‘ARAB NEWS’ stated that the new partnership will expand to include additional Fight Night events, which will take place across the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) region.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada (US). It is owned and operated by the TKO Group Holdings (professional wrestling company), a majority-owned subsidiary of Endeavor Group Holdings (a global sports and entertainment company). It is the largest MMA promotion in the world as of 2023.

Abu Dhabi (UAE)-based the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is a Government agency that promotes Abu Dhabi as a global destination. The DCT Abu Dhabi was established in February 2012 by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Abu Dhabi.

The UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, part of the listed TKO Group Holdings, has a longstanding relationship with Abu Dhabi, with 18 events having been held in the region since 2010.

‘ARAB NEWS’ further stated that the two sides entered a formal partnership in 2019, and since then, some of the biggest names in combat sports have competed in the UAE capital. This includes former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russian former mixed martial artiste), who defended his title multiple times in Abu Dhabi, former two-weight world champion Conor McGregor (Irish mixed martial artiste and professional boxer) and the former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (New Zealand mixed martial artiste and kickboxer).

Over the term of the original deal, nine title fights have taken place showcasing top-tier global talent, entertaining viewers all over the world and growing the sport of MMA across the MENA region.

The mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports from around the world.

Said Saood Abdulaziz Al-Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT – Abu Dhabi, “Bringing UFC to Abu Dhabi each year has proved hugely popular, with the MMA fans coming to the Emirate from all over the world to watch the biggest and best fights in the sport. Over a 15-year relationship, the UFC has extended its global reach and Abu Dhabi has established itself as a world capital for combat sports. Renewing our partnership with the UFC allows us to continue to stage major events that thrill visitors and residents. We are excited to extend the relationship and innovate together to grow this sport in the UAE and the wider region.”

Commented Dana White, UFC head honcho, “Abu Dhabi is one of my favorite places in the world. The people, the restaurants, the hotels, it’s incredible. I have been so excited to be able to put on some of the biggest fights in the history of UFC in Abu Dhabi and it’s only going to get even bigger from here with additional Fight Nights coming to the region next year. I love it here.”

Since 2010, the UFC events have brought thousands of fight fans to Abu Dhabi and have showcased the UFC and the Emirate to a global TV audience of more than 900 million homes across more than 170 countries.

That partnership was deepened as Abu Dhabi hosted three separate series of Fight Island events during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when sport around the world was shutting down, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island was transformed to create a safe and secure location for international athletes to compete.

The Fight Island is a series of Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts events held on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Yas Island is an island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It occupies a total land area of 25 km². It is a leisure island and one of the largest tourism projects in Abu Dhabi. The Yas Island holds the Yas Marina Circuit, which has hosted the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009.

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