Return to Fight Island: Etihad Airways flies UFC fighters to Abu Dhabi

Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa, who headline Sunday's UFC 253, arrive from Las Vegas and London respectively

Etihad Airways played its now-traditional part in UFC Fight Island by flying in some of the promotion’s biggest stars for the upcoming second series.

The UAE’s national airline carried to Abu Dhabi a number of fighters for this Sunday’s UFC 253, which kicks off the five-event residency running all the way to UFC 254 on October 24.

Among the UFC’s staff, athletes and support crew was UFC president Dana White and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, with the pair touching down in the capital from Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Adesanya’s opponent on Sunday, Paulo Costa, was part of the delegation who travelled in from London. The Brazilian was accompanied on the flight by compatriot Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the UFC Hall of Famer who retired following his bout on the inaugural Fight Island in July.

And the guests enjoyed a UFC-themed journey. Those travelling by First Class warmed up for the five-week stretch by sampling a specially curated menu, which featured the ‘Dana White Chicken Sandwich’.

UFC fighter Dominick Reyes, accompanied by Etihad staff, arrives in Abu Dhabi from Las Vegas. Courtesy Etihad
UFC fighter Dominick Reyes, accompanied by Etihad staff, arrives in Abu Dhabi from Las Vegas. Courtesy Etihad

According to a press release sent out by the airline, Etihad also collaborated with local artist and calligrapher, Diaa Allam, to personalise its Acqua di Parma amenity kits with Arabic calligraphy for its VIP guests.

In between the two pay-per-view events mentioned, Fight Island 2 will host three UFC Fight Nights, on October 4, 11 and 18 respectively.

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Yas Island's transformation for Fight Island 1

Updated: September 22, 2020 06:18 PM

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