The UFC announced that it will be visiting Abu Dhabi again for the first time since 2014, for the UFC 242 Pay-Per-View event. This event is scheduled for September 7.
The UFC has previously held two events in Abu Dhabi, including UFC Fight Night 39 in 2014 and UFC 112 in 2010. Each of those events was held out a temporary outdoor structure built specifically for the event. A venue has not been revealed for UFC 242
This return to the middle east marks a start of a 5-year partnership between the UFC and Abu Dhabi’s department of Culture and Tourism. A deal that will bring annual events to the United Arab Emirates.
“We are making a long-term commitment to Abu Dhabi because we have had great success in that market,” UFC president Dana White stated. “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. I’m very excited about this partnership and what it will mean for the growth of this sport and for UFC in the region.”
This unprecedented move has also guaranteed that each one of these events will be headlined by a UFC title fight and its rumored that the title fight main event for UFC 242 will be Undefeated UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov versus interim champion Dustin Poirier. Although only rumored at this point, Poirier seemed to confirm it on twitter.
Speaking at the UFC St. Petersburg post-fight show, Nurmagomedov, the reigning UFC lightweight champion, admitted that he was surprised by Poirier’s interim title win over Max Holloway at UFC 236 and said that preliminary discussions have already begun for a unification match between he and Poirier for September, likely at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.
“I think it was a very good performance from Dustin Poirier,” Nurmagomedov said on ESPN+. “Honestly, before the fight, I thought Holloway was going to beat him. This is my prediction when we talk with fans, with father, with team. But he impress me. Dustin impressed me.