Local Sports

UFC gets a ‘new home’ in Abu Dhabi

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 25, 2020
UFC president Dana White and fighter Daniel Cormier during their recent visit to the Etihad Arena along with Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral. — Mohamed Abdalla Twitter

Dan White, UFC president, underlined that Etihad Arena will be like New York City’s Madison Square Garden and London’s O2 multi-purpose arenas.

Abu Dhabi

As curtain fell on the UFC’s ‘Return to Fight Island’ epic series in Abu Dhabi, plans were announced to welcome the MMA sport early next year at an iconic new venue. Newly-built Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi’s first-of-its-kind multi-purpose, indoor entertainment venue, on Yas Island will be the “new home” of the UFC, said Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral — the creator of destinations in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this week, Al Zaabi gave a tour to UFC president Dana White and legendary fighter Daniel Cormier. “Welcome Dana White and Daniel Cormier to UFC’s ‘New Home’,” Al Zaabi tweeted.

White was highly impressed by the facilities at the 18,000-seater Etihad Arena, which is expected to open soon.

“I have seen every arena in the world. The Etihad Arena surpasses expectations. I can’t wait to bring an event here. This is going to be a destination that we put on fights, people from all over the world want to travel to Abu Dhabi and check out Fight Island.”

White underlined that Etihad Arena on Yas Island will be like New York City’s Madison Square Garden and London’s O2 multi-purpose arenas. “When you look at the level of events that I have put on during a global pandemic. Wait until you see what I do in an arena like this in Abu Dhabi when there is not a global pandemic.”

White noted the UFC will be back in Abu Dhabi, the new fight capital of the world, by the end of January or early February. “We will go back home (the US), do a bunch of fights at home and then we should be ready to do some international fights, title fights and things like that by the end of January or early February.” The ‘Return to Fight Island’ series concluded at the Flash Forum with UFC 254.



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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