UFC 242 to create history in Abu Dhabi with two all-female bouts
Sarah Moras v Liana Jojua and Joanne Calderwood v Andrea Lee confirmed for September 7 as part of 10-event card
The UAE will host its first all-female UFC bouts when the organisation returns to Abu Dhabi later this year, it was announced on Monday.
Canadian Sarah Moras will take on up-and-coming Georgian Liana Jojua at UFC 242 on September 7, while top-ranked Scottish flyweight Joanne Calderwood, the division's fifth-ranked fighter, will face seventh-ranked American Andrea Lee, who is aiming to seal four consecutive UFC wins.
The two matches will create history, since the two previous events in the Emirates – 2010 and 2014, both in Abu Dhabi – did not feature female combatants.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight unification clash with Dustin Poirier, announced last month, headlines the night at The Arena with 10 fights now confirmed in total so far.
The organisation's packed lightweight division will be well represented in Abu Dhabi, with a clash between two top 10-ranked men in the division in the shape of Brazilian Edson Barboza and Ireland's Paul Felder.
The pair first met in July 2015 with Barboza walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
Elsewhere at lightweight, Khabib's teammate Islam Makhachev is out for a sixth consecutive UFC win against Brazil's Davi Ramos, who himself is chasing a fifth straight Octagon victory.
Meanwhile, Russian-Austrian Mairbek Taisumov will attempt to improve his 27-5 professional MMA record against Brazil's Diego Ferreira, who is undefeated in the UFC since January 2016.
German Ottman Azaitar, who holds an undefeated 11-0 professional MMA record, makes his UFC debut against Finland's Teemu Packalen.
In the only heavyweight bout confirmed so far, American Curtis Blaydes will face Russia's Shamil Abdurakhimov. In the welterweight division, France's Nordine Taleb will battle Muslim Salikho.
German bantamweight Khalid Taha will face another UFC debutant, Brazil's Bruno Silva, who has amassed 14 wins in his last 15 professional MMA fights.
Last week, The National was given an exclusive tour of the venue site, with construction on the 13,000-plus arena expected to be completed midway through August.
UFC 242 marks the first event since the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced in April a five-year agreement with the mixed martial arts promotion.
Tickets for the event, which brings to a close the inaugural Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, almost sold out within the first four days, although hotel packages are still available.
Updated: July 9, 2019 09:09 AM