This weekend sees the launch of ‘Return to UFC Fight Island’ – the second instalment of fights from the mixed martial arts organisation.
The event takes place on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island from September 26th to October 24th.
The event sees UFC partner again with the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), following the success of July’s inaugural series.
Return to UFC Fight Island will feature UFC 253, UFC 254 and three Fight Nights in the UAE capital’s premier leisure and entertainment destination, Yas Island.
The five-event mega schedule will be held behind closed doors and marks the first time that two consecutive UFC numbered pay-per-view events have been held in the same city outside of Las Vegas.
The event will begin with a middleweight title bout on September 26th with UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa, followed by UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana on October 3rd, UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen on October 10th and UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie on October 17th.
In what promises to be a thrilling finale, Return to UFC Fight Island will close with UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje on October 24th, when fan favourite Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to the Octagon for the first time since defeating the USA’s Dustin Poirier via third-round submission at UFC 242.
Having achieved a new benchmark in global sport safety with its pioneering ‘bubble’ concept at the inaugural UFC Fight Island in July, the Safe Zone will be implemented again incorporating an arena, hotels, training facilities, as well as entertainment and dining establishments, ensuring fighters and all those taking place remain safe.
As part of stringent public health and safety protocols, the Safe Zone will only be accessible to UFC athletes and their coaches, UFC staff, event personnel and essential employees necessary to ensure the operational continuity of all Yas Island facilities.
A mandatory period of quarantine and negative Covid-19 test is required before entry into the Safe Zone, while regular testing will be conducted for everybody inside the ‘bubble’ throughout the series.
“UFC Fight Island proved to be a tremendous success and its rapid return is testament to the strength of our partnership with UFC, and the global confidence in Abu Dhabi’s ability and preparedness to host major international events with the highest standards of health and safety,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.
“The Return to UFC Fight Island concept underlines both Abu Dhabi’s commitment to global sporting and tourism events as well as the collaborative approach taken by various government departments to ensure the emirate is ready to safely welcome back visitors, business and more major international events across multiple sectors.”
Breaking Travel News recently explored how Abu Dhabi has used sports tourism to maintain its international profile during the Covid-19 pandemic – take a look at what we found here.