Local Sports

Sheikh Khaled lauds success of UFC ‘Return to Fight Island’

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 26, 2020
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Dana White. — Supplied photo

The epic series in partnership between DCT Abu Dhabi and UFC was held inside a safe zone bubbl

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, met Dana White, president, UFC, following the successful conclusion of the five-event ‘Return to Fight Island’ held from September 26 to October 25 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

The epic series in partnership between the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and UFC were held inside a safe zone bubble with stringent Covid-19 preventive measures in place, including quarantining of athletes and massive testing.

‘Return to Fight Island’ featured UFC 253, UFC 254, including Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Justin Gaethje and three Fight Nights, which was for the first time that two consecutive UFC pay-per-view events were held in a city outside of headquarters in Las Vegas. This edition of the Fight Island saw winners from more than 15 countries and overall representation of 30 countries across six continents thus proving the global appeal of the sport.

Sheikh Khaled commended the quality of events that brought together top fighters from different countries and attracted viewers from around the world, thanks to the strong partnership Abu Dhabi has with the UFC.

The meeting was attended by Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, a Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of DCT – Abu Dhabi and Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General at Abu Dhabi Executive Office.

White expressed his gratitude to Abu Dhabi for hosting Fight Island twice this year despite Covid-19 measures and with the highest standards of health and safety. He underlined UFC’s commitment to continue to host fights in Abu Dhabi, reaffirming the emirate’s status as the new home of UFC.

“Thank you, Abu Dhabi for this historic incredible second run on Fight Island. There are so many people to thank, it’s impossible to thank them all, but the service, staff and attention to detail at the W Abu Dhabi is second to none. I’d like to thank everybody at DCT – Abu Dhabi for literally moving mountains for us and helping make Fight Island a reality, as well as all the testers at G42, and last but definitely not least, everyone at Etihad, the best airline on Earth.”



Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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