UFC gets a new address – Abu Dhabi



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Etihad Arena Abu Dhabi October Image: Mohamed Abdalla (Twitter)

The roaring success of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events in Abu Dhabi has proved that it has got a new ‘home’ in the capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is owned and operated by Endeavor Group Holdings along with Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital via Zuffa, LLC.

Return to UFC Fight Island is the second event in the UFC Fight Island™ series, returning to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island following the undisputed success of July 2020’s inaugural series. The series’ epic return less than three months after UFC Fight Island marks another historic first for Abu Dhabi and the sport.

The spectacular event was held from September 26th – October 25th, 2020 in Abu Dhabi. The ‘Return to Fight Island’ series concluded at the Flash Forum – a concert hall in Abu Dhabi – with UFC 254.

As curtains fell on the UFC’s ‘Return to Fight Island’ epic series in Abu Dhabi, plans were announced to welcome the mixed martial arts sport early next year at the legendary new venue – Etihad Arena.

Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, the creator of destinations in Abu Dhabi, termed the Etihad Arena – Abu Dhabi’s first-of-its-kind multipurpose, indoor entertainment venue on Yas Island – as the new home of the UFC.

Earlier this week, Al Zaabi gave a tour to UFC President Dana White and legendary fighter Daniel Cormier. “Welcome Dana White and Daniel Cormier to UFC’s ‘New Home’,” Al Zaabi tweeted.

White was hugely impressed looking at the plush facilities at the 18,000-seater Etihad Arena, which is expected to open its gates soon.

“I have seen every arena in the world. The Etihad Arena surpasses expectations. I can’t wait to bring an event here. This is going to be a destination that we put on fights, people from all over the world want to travel to Abu Dhabi and check out Fight Island.”

White underscored and equated Etihad Arena on Yas Island to New York City’s Madison Square Garden and London’s O2 multipurpose arenas – “When you look at the level of events that I have put on during a global pandemic. Wait until you see what I do in an arena like this in Abu Dhabi when there is not a global pandemic.”

White informed that UFC will be back in Abu Dhabi, the new fight capital of the world, by the end of January or early February next year – “We will go back home (the US), do a bunch of fights at home and then we should be ready to do some international fights, title fights and things like that by the end of January or early February next year.”

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