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Serious talent will come out of UAE, region: UFC boss White

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on September 28, 2020
Zubaira Tukhugov punches Hakeem Dawodu during their featherweight bout at UFC Fight Island. - Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi Fight Island epic series successfully hosted UFC 253 on Sunday and now looks forward to UFC 254

UFC president Dana White is confident the UAE and the region will be breeding ground for future MMA stars.

Abu Dhabi Fight Island epic series successfully hosted UFC 253 on Sunday and now looks forward to UFC 254 and three Fight Nights. This is for the first time that two consecutive UFC pay-per-view events have been held in the same city outside of headquarters in Las Vegas. White said Abu Dhabi is the fight capital of the world and "serious talents" will soon emerge.

"Once you are in a market long enough like this, here in Abu Dhabi or wherever it is, not only does the fan base start to grow but so does the talent, and we are seeing that. Watch what happens here over the next five or six years. There will be serious talent coming out of this region."

The UFC and the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT - Abu Dhabi) have inked a five-year partnership to host top fights.

White lauded the local authorities for facilitating smooth operations at Fight Island series' epic return.

"I have had a relationship with Abu Dhabi for over a decade. It's always been incredible. With what's going on now and the way these guys have pulled together, worked with us to pull off Fight Island 1 and 2, I really can't put into words how incredible it is and what's been done here. The venue, everything, from the flight here till we get back on the flight and go home, you don't get service like this anywhere in the world."

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is impressed with the 'safe zone' and stringent norms followed at the Fight Island.

"Definitely, I will come back to fight in Abu Dhabi."

UFC light-heavyweight new champion Jan Blachowicz is delighted to return to Poland with a title belt.

"This is my second time in Abu Dhabi. This is a great place to visit, the atmosphere is really good and the food is amazing. I will remember Abu Dhabi to the end of my life for what happened here," he Blachowicz showing his championship belt.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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