UFC to return to Abu Dhabi: Could Khabib Nurmagomedov headline?

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UFC will return to the capital for the first time in five years this September…

For the first time since 2014, UFC will return to Abu Dhabi later this year.

UFC 242 will take place on Saturday September 7, 2019 at a still-to-be-announced location, which is tipped to be du Arena. Tickets are not yet on sale, but you can sign up on the official Visit Abu Dhabi website for early access to tickets.

The announcement comes as part of a five-year partnership between UFC and the Department of Culture and Tourism to bring regular UFC events to the emirate until 2024.

Although the fight card has yet to be confirmed, it promises at least one championship bout.

Could that include the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov? It looks possible.

When asked earlier this month if the rumours of a UAE fight were true, Nurmagomedov said: “Yes, we are working on it. UFC told me they are working on this. I just came back from Dubai. And very soon news is coming. Very soon.”

The 30-year old champion boasts the longest undefeated streak in MMA, having won 27 of his last 27 consecutive fights. He has not fought since his win over Ireland’s Connor McGregor in October 2018, when a post-match brawl resulted in a 9-month ban.

UFC’s highly anticipated return to Abu Dhabi, the promotion’s first since 2014, will air live on global broadcasters around the world and on Pay-Per-View in select markets, according to an official statement from UFC.

“The demand from our fans to bring UFC back to Abu Dhabi has been overwhelming, and over the next five years, DCT Abu Dhabi will help us deliver some spectacular UFC championship fights to the UAE,” confirmed UFC president Dana White.

Abu Dhabi hosted its first UFC fight, UFC 112 in 2020, and made history as the promotion’s first event held outdoors. UFC returned to Abu Dhabi on April 11, 2014,  for UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs Nelson at du Arena.

Additional details about UFC 242, including venue, scheduled fights, ticket sales, and activities for fight week, will be announced at a later date.  Fans can tay up to date with the latest UFC 242 news by registering via UFC.com/ufc-242-abu-dhabi-RYI

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Images: Getty