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UFC returns to Abu Dhabi on October 21 with UFC 294

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UFC announced its return to the Middle East, which has become a regular Mid-Autumn Festival stop.

It was announced earlier on Thursday that UFC 294 will take place on October 21 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The fight for this card has yet to be announced, but historically the UFC has had plenty of fighters from that side of the world hoping for a spot on the show in the United Arab Emirates.

UFC 294 will be the UFC’s 18th fight in Abu Dhabi, although a dozen of those fights will be part of pandemic-era programming from July 2020 to January 2021, with the company closed due to COVID-19. Bubble volume set up on “Battle Island”.

In January 2021, UFC performed three shows in front of a limited number of fans over eight days at the Etihad Arena. Then in October 2021, UFC 267 hits the field with a light heavyweight title fight and a belt-winning Jan Blachowicz submission from Glover Teixeira.

Also on that card are Islam Makhachev and Khamzat Chimaev. Makhachev returned to UFC 280 last October and won the lightweight title with a Charles Oliveira submission.

Below, check out UFC’s event history in Abu Dhabi.

For more information on the cards, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Center Ultimate Fighting Championship 294.

UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson

date: April 11, 2014
Place: your arena
Attendance: 7,963
notes: Roy Nelson eliminated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the main event. The card is rare as it only has eight matches, the first of which ended in a no-match between Rani Yahya and Johnny Bedford.

UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier

date: September 7, 2019
Place: Yas Island Arena
Attendance: unpublished
notes: Light heavyweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov gave Dustin Poirier his title defense in the main event in the third round.

UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal

date: July 12, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: The UFC’s first fight in its ‘Fight Island’ bubble featured three title fights: Kamaru Usman beat opponent Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision in headlines, Defended the welterweight belt. In the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski defended his featherweight title by defeating Max Holloway in a rematch by a tie decision. Petr Yan defeated Jose Aldo by TKO in the fifth round to win the vacant bantamweight title.

UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs. Ige

date: July 16, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: Calvin Kattar takes a unanimous decision against Dan Ige in the Main Event. ESPN’s main card has five consecutive unanimous decisions.

UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2

date: July 19, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: In the headlines, Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Joseph Benavidez in a rematch for the vacant lightweight title.

UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till

date: July 26, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defeated Darren Till in the main event. The card also includes Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s split decision victory over Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum’s first-round submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson.

UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa Rica

date: September 27, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya eliminated Paulo Costa in the second round of the main event. In the joint feature, Jan Blachowicz won the vacant light heavyweight title with a second-round TKO of Dominick Reyes.

UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana

date: October 4, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: Former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm shut out Elena Aldana on the scorecard for the main event, making it the first UFC Abu Dhabi title for a woman.

UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen

date: October 11, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: Cory Sandhagen knocked out Marlon Moraes with a spinning wheel kick in the second round of the main event. The card features seven decisions and six eliminations.

UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Korean Zombies

date: October 18, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: Brian Ortega swept “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in the Main Event.

UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje

date: October 24, 2020
Place: your forum
Attendance: 0 (Battle Island Bubble)
notes: In the headline-grabbing lightweight title fight, champion Khabib Nurmagomedov choked interim champion Justin Gaethje to sleep in the second round. Additionally, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defeated Jared Cannonier in the co-main event.

UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar

date: January 16, 2021
Place: Etihad Arena
Attendance: 2,000
notes: Former Featherweight Champion Max Holloway put in a solid performance against Calvin Qatar. He won by a score of 50-43 and an almost unheard of 50-42. The card features seven decisions and three eliminations.

UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny

date: January 20, 2021
Place: Etihad Arena
Attendance: 2,000
notes: Michael Chiesa defeated Neil Magny in the welterweight main event.

UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2

date: January 24, 2021
Place: Etihad Arena
Attendance: 2,600
notes: Dustin Poirier avenged Conor McGregor’s loss in second-round headlines. In the simulcast, former Bellator champion Michael Chandler beat Dan Hooker for the $50,000 prize.

UFC 267: Blahovic vs. Teixeira

date: October 30, 2021
Place: Etihad Arena
Attendance: 10,171
notes: For the first time in 10 years, UFC numbered events are not pay-per-view. In the headlines, Glover Teixeira submitted Jan Blachowicz to win the light heavyweight title. In the joint feature, Petr Yan defeated Cory Sandhagen in the Fight of the Night Championship for the interim bantamweight belt.

UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev

date: October 22, 2022
Place: Etihad Arena
Attendance: 13,400
notes: In the main event, Islam Makhachev fielded former champion Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title. In the joint feature, Aljamain Sterling defends his bantamweight belt by knocking out former champion TJ Dillashaw in the second round.

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