UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) partner for the third instalment of the world-famous UFC FIGHT ISLAND series, which will kick off the UFC’s live event series in 2021.
Returning to the international home of UFC on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UFC will host three events in just seven days, which will welcome a limited number of fans at Etihad Arena. As its inaugural events, this is yet another milestone for the company made possible through its partnership with DCT Abu Dhabi.
The first event of the year takes place on Saturday, January 16, and will be headlined by a fan favourite featherweight bout between No.1 ranked Max Holloway and No.6 Calvin Kattar. Returning to at Fight Island, Kattar expressed his determination and eagerness to become the next title contender in his fight against the former champion. On Wednesday, January 20, Michael Chiesa will take on Neil Magny in a highly anticipated welterweight main event. Both Chiesa and Magny are coming off three consecutive wins and will be looking to continue this win streak on Fight Island.
Finally, closing out UFC FIGHT ISLAND Triple Header will be UFC 257, which will see the return of Conor McGregor in a rematch against Dustin Poirier. Since their last featherweight bout in 2014, Poirier has found a new home at lightweight, defeating notable names, such as Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway and claiming the interim lightweight title. On the other hand, McGregor has consistently taken part in thrilling performances, including his most recent fight against Cowboy Cerrone, defeating the UFC veteran in just 40 seconds.
“I’m pumped to start the year with a straight week of great fights – Saturday, Wednesday and Sunday – for fight fans all over the world with FIGHT ISLAND Triple Header,” said UFC President Dana White.
“Following two highly-successful editions of UFC Fight Island and the recent Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to host major international events in a safe and secure environment this year.
The third staging of UFC Fight Island in January not only cements Abu Dhabi’s standing as a world-class global destination for sport but as one of the safest,” added H.E Ali Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
“Following the reopening of our emirate to international tourism, we are delighted to welcome fans to Etihad Arena, our new world-class events and entertainment venue on Yas Island. Abu Dhabi’s collaborative and coordinated response in tackling the spread of the coronavirus has inspired pioneering health measures to ensure a safe and secure environment. The UFC Fight Island Triple Header on Yas Island this month will once again shine the spotlight on why the UAE is the world’s coolest winter destination, where visitors to Abu Dhabi can safely experience the Emirate’s rich and diverse mix of culture, entertainment and lifestyle attractions.”
Nouf Al Bouhselaibi, Director of Destination Management at Miral, commented: “Hosting UFC Fight Island Triple Header on Yas Island has been a testament to the success from the first edition and a reflection of the island’s growing reputation as a global destination for entertainment, leisure, and business. As the inaugural event for Etihad Arena, this is a momentous occasion and the perfect platform to showcase the arena’s dynamic capabilities to an international audience.”
In December, DCT Abu Dhabi announced the reopening of the Emirate to tourism, as well as a gradual return to event hosting, with strict guidelines in place that ensure the safety of the wider Abu Dhabi community. To align with these guidelines, the athletes, coaches, UFC staff and resort employees will again be in a safe zone on Yas Island. There will also be additional restricted zones which will allow fans to safely attend the events. All three events will be held at the state-of-the-art Etihad Arena, where the UFC FIGHT ISLAND will be hosted for the first time. Limited tickets for the historic UFC FIGHT ISLAND Triple Header are available today starting 10 a.m GST at etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.
UFC FIGHT ISLAND Triple Header will be showcased live via global broadcasters around the world and on Pay-Per-View in select markets. UFC events are broadcast in 171 countries and territories in 40 different languages and reach approximately one billion TV households.
In the UAE and throughout the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, UFC content is broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports and streamed on UFC Arabia, UFC’s first Arabic-language streaming subscription service in the region. ‘UFC Arabia’ can be downloaded through Apple Store and Google Play and is available on web, smart phone, tablets and Smart TVs.