This would be the first Abu Dhabi sports event with spectators since pandemic restrictions began…

Today The National, shared the news that “next week’s UAE Warriors 15, organised in partnership with Khabib Nurmagomedov, will be open to fans who have taken the Covid-19 vaccine.”

This is a huge development, even with the vaccination requirement — the first sporting event, held in the capital, to offer tickets to spectators since the pandemic restrictions began back in March.

Of course, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had a handful of frontline workers present, but they were selected from a specific pool, rather than getting tickets.


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UAE Warriors 15 will take place at the Jiu-jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi on January 15. The showdown will feature mixed martial art (MMA) bouts from some of the sport’s finest fighters. Although the full confirmed fight card will be released closer to the event.

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Fouad Darwish, general manager of Palms Sports is quoted in The National as saying “It’s going to be a very special event. As always, UAE Warriors and Palms Sports like to be pioneers in everything that we do.”

The event will also be a special one for an entirely different reason. Hosted in conjunction with UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle Fighting Championship, organisation, it will commemorate, Khabib’s father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov who sadly passed away last year.

It’s not his first time taking in a UAE Warriors championship, but the fact that Khabib will be at the event to watch over proceedings will be popular news. The fighter who retained his lightweight crown (and reputation as one of the sport’s greatest of all time) at Abu Dhabi’s UFC Fight Island in October, is one of the most popular fighters in this region.

UAE Warriors 15 takes place the day before the return of Fight Island, and less than two weeks before the hotly anticipated clash between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, also taking place on Yas Island.

Could vaccines also lead the way to selected spectators there? We’ll have to hold on a little longer to find out.

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