Expect pop-ups, a huge concert, and the small matter of an action-packed UFC 294 card…

Let’s get ready to rumble… UFC returns to fight island (or Yas Island, for those non-UFC buffs) this month for UFC 294. But around the gripping fight card on Saturday October 21, a bumper schedule of events, pop-ups, concerts and more will take place from October 16 to 22 as the capital celebrates the fifth anniversary of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, inviting fans to soak up unmissable action all week long.

Here’s everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi Showdown Week

The fight card

The big one

The main event will see a second mouth-watering face-off between former UFC lightweight champion and record-breaking (most finishes, most submissions) Brazilian Charles Oliveira, one of the UFC’s best grapplers and the one man Dagestani army and Khabib protege, Islam Makhachev. The pair last touched gloves      in the octagon in October 2022 at UFC 280, when Makhachev defeated Oliveira by submission (arm triangle choke) in the second round, so we can expect serious fireworks when the pair battle it out this October. Will it be repeat or revenge for Oliveira?

Also on the card

Alongside the main event, additional bouts on October 21 include number 2 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev, who returns to action against sixth-ranked Johnny Walker, in a bout that’s sure to bring the heat to the octagon at Etihad Arena.

In the middleweight bout, Abu Dhabi will see the highly anticipated return of Khamzat Chimaev who will face Paulo Costa.

Currently ranked number 11, UFC middleweight contender Nassourdine Imavov, fighting out of Paris, will face off against Ikram Aliskerov.

UFC veteran and number 10 ranked flyweight contender Tim Elliott plans to become the first person to defeat rising prospect number 11 ranked Muhammad Mokaev.

The big gigs

October 18: Robbie Williams

robbie williams

A Brit popstar and former boyband member might not seem like a typical Showdown Week candidate, but his star-power and showmanship has made Yas Island one of the world’s greatest entertainers. And he’ll be bringing his 25 Years of Hits world tour to Etihad Arena on Wednesday October 18.

Known as one of the best live acts of his generation, Robbie Williams has been captivating audiences for the last two and a half decades. Promising a song book of countless sing-along hits to the capital this October, including Angels, Let Me Entertain You, Millennium and She’s The One.

Tickets start from Dhs395, with golden circle upgrades available for Dhs995.

October 22: Andrew Schulz

Andrew Schulz

Get ready for a night of pure belly laughs as Andrew Schulz is bringing his stand-up tour The Life Show to Abu Dhabi for one night only on October 22.

The New Yorker is an actor, comedian, and podcaster, and is best known for his work on The Brilliant Idiots podcast. Get ready to cry with laughter as you embark on a journey through the complicated mind of Schulz, as he explores the realms of current events, politics, and the chaos of life. Tickets are sadly now sold out.

Fan experiences

The fight night fun extends beyond the Etihad Arena to Yas Mall for a week-long line-up of combat sports-themed fun from October 16 to 22. Whether you snapped up tickets to UFC 294 or not, everyone is welcome to get in on the action at the Yas Mall pop-up, located at Town Square.

Just like last year, fans will be able to get a glimpse of UFC stars in action as the fighters take part in open workouts on Wednesday October 18 at the Yas Mall Fan Zone. Expect striking, grappling, and some seriously intense stare-offs.

Then on Thursday October 19, fans will be able to access the official UFC 294: Makhachev vs Oliveira press conference at Etihad Arena, when athletes on the card will speak ahead of the hotly anticipated event. This will be followed by the official UFC Ceremonial weigh-ins on October 20.

The fun-filled week also promises athlete meet and greets, fitness challenges, culinary deals and more as UFC mania takes over Yas Island’s Yas Mall from October 16 to 22 and Yas Bay from October 18 to 22. Expect gaming zones, reaction challenges, photo ops and prizes as part of the UFC Fan Experience.