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Khabib to fight Gaethje as Fight Island returns to Abu Dhabi
UFC president Dana White underlined the big announcement will be made by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to Abu Dhabi's Yas Island with a month-long action starting from this month end.
Fight Island 2 will feature two headline fights - undefeated middleweight belt-holder Israel Adesanya taking on undefeated challenger
Paulo Costa at the UFC 253 on September 27 and crowd favourite and undefeated lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting interim belt-holder Justin Gaethje in the title unification bout at the UFC 254 on October 24.
There will be three more Fight Nights on October 4, 11 and 18. Women's bantamweight bout between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana is the main card on October 4.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the fixtures but underlined the big announcement will be made by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
"We are going to Fight Island. You know they all have these big plans on how we are going to announce all this stuff," White said after the Contender Series event. "I will be there for the whole five weeks," he added.
White had earlier noted that the MMA sport will be shuttling between headquarters in Las Vegas to the UAE Capital. The UFC and DCT-Abu Dhabi inked a five-year agreement to host major fights in the Capital.
UFC 254 will mark the return to the octagon for Khabib. The 'Eagle' was recently seen in Abu Dhabi this July while supporting his cousin brother Usman Nurmagomedov, who was taking part in the UAE Warriors 12. The Dagestan-native with an unbeaten 28-0 record hasn't fought since his bout against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last September in Abu Dhabi.
It is not immediately known if there will be changes made to the safe zone protocols from the inaugural Fight Island staged in July of this year.
But reflecting back at the first edition of the Fight Island, White added: "It was awesome and super successful in every possible way. So yes, now we are going back."
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