ABU DHABI 18 September 2020: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, have announced that Return to UFC Fight Island, the much-celebrated UFC series will be held on Yas Island from September 26 to October 24.
Following the 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. The capital of the UAE is continuing to take a leading position in safely organising large, high-profile sports events through successful management of health and safety protocols, providing a further boost to the local economy and showcasing the world’s leading athletes.
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 – yet another historic first for Abu Dhabi,said Wam.
In what promises to be a thrilling finale, Return to UFC Fight Island will close with UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje on October 24, 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.
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 incorporate an arena, hotels, training facilities, as well as entertainment and dining establishments. Abu Dhabi led the development of the ‘Go Safe Certification’, which enforces global safety and hygiene standards across the emirate’s hotels, attractions, malls, hospitality facilities and public venues, and supports the emirate’s wider efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19, which include widespread testing, city-wide sanitation, social distancing, and enhanced healthcare services.
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.
Designed to ensure the wellbeing of all UFC Fight Island participants, Yas Island residents and visitors, the robust health and safety measures signal Abu Dhabi’s readiness to revive tourism and welcome visitors back to the emirate once commercial flights to Abu Dhabi International Airport resume and underline the Government of Abu Dhabi’s collaborative Covid-19 response, widely recognised as among the finest in the world.
Return to UFC Fight Island events will be broadcast in the UAE and across MENA on UFC Arabia, UFC’s first Arabic-language subscription service in the region, which is available through Apple Store, Google Play and via web browsers and smart TVs.