Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has shared that the “close connection” between the world’s top MMA franchise and Abu Dhabi will strengthen the UAE capital’s bid in hosting “big fights” in the next few years.
With a heavy-weight matchup between two of the biggest stars in MMA all set at UFC®242: Khabib vs. Poirier, White highlighted the possibility of more mega bouts heading for Abu Dhabi in the coming years, in line with the organization’s five-year partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), which is organising the Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, a week-long festival of lifestyle and entertainment activities, to complement UFC ® 242.
UFC President Hints Breakout Matches to be Hosted in Abu Dhabi
The UFC President affirmed strong ties with Abu Dhabi, citing a number of times the international organization has been to the city and held full-blown matches for loyal fans from the region; thus reassuring their commitment to return and continue to bring big fights to the Middle East in the future.
The Abu Dhabi Showdown Week will include a two-night concert series featuring American rock-and-roll legends, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as reggaeton superstar J Balvin, among many other international musicians and DJs playing at pool, beach, and after-parties.
The Abu Dhabi Showdown Week will see eight UFC guest fighters appear in several activities for fans across 10 Abu Dhabi malls, while numerous partner retail and food and beverage brand promotions will be launched around the city.
In preparation for the upcoming festivities, White said: “I am looking forward to the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Wednesday (September 4) and I am looking forward to the fight on Saturday (September 7), and on top of that, Abu Dhabi is a very cool city and I have a lot of things lined up to do during the week.”
White also revealed that they are going on a cruise for the filming of an episode of Looking for a Fight, which will actually feature the Khabib fight. And while in the city, the UFC chief intends to explore all the cool things that capital has to offer.
Furthermore, White shared that it will not be too long until athletes from the UAE and across the Middle East debut on UFC fight cards – and vying for UFC championships.
According to White, ground-laying activities for events such as the UFC begin with frequent tours in cities, which they have already done in the UAE capital, which then kick-starts the market – gyms pop up and people start training, which naturally develops talents in the area.
White claimed that it has been a trend – with England, Australia, Canada, and every country they’ve gone to – that a champion will be named from the Middle East, most likely within the next six to seven years.
To get more updates about the Abu Dhabi Showdown, you can visit their website: www.ADShowdownWeek.ae or follow their official social media account @ADShowdownWeek on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.