The UFC 294 showdown is drawing nearer
Abu Dhabi’s combat sports fans, you’re in for a treat as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is heading back to the UAE capital with another blockbuster card.
Having hosted many of UFC’s most memorable fights, Abu Dhabi is again laying down the red carpet for the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters who will compete in UFC 294, set for 21 October at the Etihad Arena, Yas Island.
All eyes are currently on the Makhachev vs Oliveira 2 in the Lightweight Bout, with tickets practically sold out! The Middleweight Bout will feature Paulo Costa vs Khamzat Chimaev, and Nassourdine Imavov vs Ikram Aliskerov. Naturally, fans are too excited to wait any longer.
Abu Dhabi is clearly becoming a favourite destination of the world’s leading MMA promotion as the city hosts its 18th UFC event since 2010, when Brazilian legend Anderson Silva took on compatriot Demian Maia.
The title bout is highly anticipated, with the last UFC event in the emirate featuring Islam Makhachev defeating Charles Oliveira in a second-round stoppage for the lightweight title in UFC 280 at a sold-out Etihad Arena.
“Everybody knows how much I love Abu Dhabi and the people there, so we are excited to be returning with another amazing card for UFC 294 this October,” said UFC President Dana White.
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Abu Dhabi has witnessed some of the biggest fights in MMA, with fight cards headlined by the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and Khamzat Chimaev.
The UAE capital also played a crucial role in sustaining the spot during the Covid pandemic, having hosted events on the bio-secure Fight Island at a time when most sports events around the world were suspended.
The unprecedented move allowed the UFC to hold 12 events in Abu Dhabi from July 2020 to January 2021, keeping fighters active and in shape, and fans entertained during the lockdown.
UFC 294 is part of a partnership between the MMA organisation and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) that was launched in 2019.
“Abu Dhabi and UFC have a deep and trusted partnership dating back more than a decade,” said Saleh Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, who promised a memorable combat sports spectacle.
“We understand the passion and desire of fans in the region for world-class events and together we constantly strive to deliver fight cards that appeal to as wide an audience as possible. UFC 294 and the fifth edition of Abu Dhabi Showdown will be memorable, and we look forward to announcing the fight card in the coming months.”
Apart from MMA superstars, boxing’s living legend Manny Pacquiao is also poised to fight in Abu Dhabi this year. The retired Filipino boxer is planning a comeback fight against UK boxer Conor Benn in June.
Etihad Arena, Yas Island
For more information and to gain early access to tickets, visit visitabudhabi.ae/en/campaign/abu-dhabi-showdown-week-2023-ufc-294
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Image source UFC