Abu Dhabi [UAE], September 18 (ANI): UAE's capital Abu Dhabi is set to host the popular Return to UFC Fight Island from September 26 amidst the COVID 19 pandemic.
"The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and UFC, the world's premier mixed martial arts organisation, have today announced that Return to UFC Fight Island, the much-celebrated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) series, will be held on Abu Dhabi's popular leisure, entertainment and tourism destination, Yas Island, from September 26 to October 25," read a release from Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.
Following the undisputed success of July's inaugural series, which saw the state-of-the-art UFC Fight Island Safe Zone implemented across all event-related areas of Yas Island, the series' epic return less than three months later marks another historic first for Abu Dhabi and the sport.
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. 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.
"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.
Dana White, the UFC President, added: "UFC Fight Island was a massive success in every way that you can measure success. While the rest of the world shut down, we worked with our partners in Abu Dhabi to put on the best live sporting experience, and we did it safely and responsibly. Return to UFC Fight Island will showcase some of the best fights of the year, including one that I've predicted has 'Fight of the Year' potential."Return to UFC Fight Island will begin with a middleweight title bout on September 27 with UFC 253: Adesnya vs Costa, followed by UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Aldana on October 4, UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs Sandhagen on October 11, and UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs Korean Zombie on October 18.
In what promises to be a thrilling finale, Return to UFC Fight Island will close with UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje on October 25, 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 during last September's inaugural Abu Dhabi Showdown Week.
As part of stringent public health and safety protocols, the UFC Fight Island 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. (ANI)