Global Sports

UFC Abu Dhabi: Conor, Khabib set Fight Island on fire

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on January 19, 2021
Irish superstar Conor McGregor meditates on the Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied photo)

Khabib is in Abu Dhabi to support his cousin Umar Nurmagomedov, who is making his UFC debut on Wednesday’s Fight Island 8 at the Etihad Arena

The excitement quotient has reached fever pitch in Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island. The biggest dons of the lightweight division are all in one place as countdown has started to the first headline event of the MMA season — UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2.

Just moments after a shirtless Conor McGregor arrived at The W Hotel – Yas Island, Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undisputed champion, was also spotted at the same venue.

However, with 48-hour quarantine norms to follow, it is unlikely that the two volatile characters of the sport will cross each other’s path.

Khabib is in Abu Dhabi to support his cousin Umar Nurmagomedov, who is making his UFC debut on Wednesday’s Fight Island 8 at the Etihad Arena.

Umar faces Kazakhstan’s Sergey Morozov in a bantamweight clash on an action-packed 14-fight card at UFC Fight Night: Chiesa versus Magny, the second event of the weeklong UFC Fight Island Triple Header.

After the fight, Team Khabib will leave the island and will not be staying on to watch Saturday’s UFC 257 live at the arena.

However, Khabib has upped the stakes for UFC 257 by announcing that if any of the main card fighters manage to impress him, he may consider a return to the steel cage. If not, he will relinquish his title belt.

After UFC 257, UFC president Dana White will be holding a second round of meeting with Khabib to know the future plans of the Dagestan ‘Eagle’. White has maintained that Khabib versus McGregor 2 will be a massive fight.

There is so much hype surrounding the headline event of UFC 257. And No.4 ranked McGregor registered his presence in a great style on Monday. After winding up his camp in Dubai, the Irishman got his yacht to Abu Dhabi, and then entered the hotel in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.

The 32-year-old fighter will be returning to the octagon almost a year after nailing Donald Cerrone in just 40 seconds on January 18 at UFC 246.

He is now all set to take on No. 2 Dustin Poirier in a rematch at UFC 257 on Saturday. Poirier is already on the Fight Island.


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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