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UFC announces fight on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi

  |  February 6, 2014

John Makdessi, right, of Canada fights Alan Patrick of Brazil during the second round of the Ultimate Fighting Lightweight Mix Martial Arts bout in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Patrick won by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen) *** Local Caption *** UFC 169.JPEG-0b261.jpg
TIM LARSEN FRE
John Makdessi, right, of Canada fights Alan Patrick of Brazil during the second round of the Ultimate Fighting Lightweight Mix Martial Arts bout in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Patrick won by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen) *** Local Caption ***  UFC 169.JPEG-0b261.jpg

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the mixed martial arts company, is to return to the UAE on April 11 for their first show in the region in four years.

Confirmation

Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), had announced last month that the organisation was going to return to Abu Dhabi, and on Wednesday announced that UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs Nogueira will take place at Yas Island as meets Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria.

EMEA

The event, which has been organised in conjunction with Flash Entertainment, the second of six Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Fight Night events to take place this year. The two-year partnership with Flash will see at least five regional events staged in the next two years.

More to come

John Lickrish, chief executive at Flash Entertainment, said: “Flash Entertainment has been proud partners of the UFC for many years, stretching back to the historic UFC 112 event in Abu Dhabi in 2010. The announcement today heralds a bright future for the millions of fight fans and practitioners alike across the Middle East and North Africa, as we work together to develop a programme of year-round UFC events. We look forward to making further announcements very soon.”

Giving fans what they want

Garry Cook, executive vice president and managing director of UFC EMEA, said: “This agreement is a major step in our strategic expansion across EMEA and, in particular, will see our audience grow dramatically across the region. There is a huge market for the UFC in the Middle East; the fans want live events and can now look forward to local tailored content in the region.”

London ahead

The first EMEA event of 2014 takes place in London, England on March 8. UFC Fight Night London 2014 will see Sweden’s light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson take on England’s undefeated Jimi Manuwa in the main event at the city’s O2 Arena.

Want some more?
Check out this photo gallery from the Renan Barao-Jose Aldo bout from last Saturday.