MMA all up in the EA…

We’ve forgotten the first rule of fight club, but we’re pretty sure it’s about spreading the word.

After UFC’s successful Return to Fight Island, culminating in Khabib Nurmagomedov cementing himself as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters, the MMA has ever known, Abu Dhabi has demonstrated its ability to host spectacular sporting events, even in the most challenging environments.

The Yas Island Safe Zone, played host to two separate, Fight Island festivals in 2020 — with UFC 251, 253 and 254 (as well as many other big Fight Night cards)  all taking place in the spectatorless, austere but proudly pandemic proof Flash Forum.

This week we learned that the next home of UFC in the UAE, will be the grand Etihad Arena, set to open very soon and located in Yas North — just a few kettle bell throws away from Flash.

News of the shift was teased by A Tweet from the account of Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaab, CEO of Miral — following a visit by UFC chief Dana White and MMA hero Daniel Cormier.

And what a home it is!

Etihad Arena recently shared a pretty realistic CGI timelapse tour of the new venue on its own social media channels, accompanied by the words “the wait is almost over”.

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The Khaleej Times quoted Dana White following his Arena tour:  “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.”

When can we expect fights back in Abu Dhabi?

White is also on record as saying: “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.”

Which really isn’t that long to wait.

Images: Twitter