UFC 242 lowdown: Khabib Nurmagomedov makes MMA return plus all you need to know

A week of events is scheduled as part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week before fight night on September 7 at The Arena on Yas Island

On September 7, the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi for the first time in five years, where unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov headlines a stacked event with his unification bout against Dustin Poirier. Here’s the details.

What is UFC 242?

UFC 242 is the latest installment in the world's lead mixed martial arts promotion. It's the third time the UFC has been staged in Abu Dhabi, following events in 2010 and 2014. In April, the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced they had signed a five-year deal with the UFC.

When is UFC 242?

Saturday September 7, from 6pm.

Where is it?

The Arena, a purpose-built venue on Yas Island, holding upwards of 13,000 spectators. It will also play home in the days leading up to UFC 242 to concerts by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and J Balvin - part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week (September 1-7).

Who is fighting?

As noted, Nurmagomedov's title clash with interim belt-holder Poirier heads the card. The undefeated Russian, 30, returns from a nine-month suspension following last October's controversial fallout from his match-up with Conor McGregor. Poirier, also 30, claimed the interim belt in April when he dispatched fellow American Max Holloway to extend his unbeaten streak to six bouts. Poirier has 25 wins and five defeats from 31 pro fights, while Nurmagomedov is 27-0. History will also be made on the night, with Abu Dhabi hosting its first all-female bouts.

Full fight card (subject to change):

Main Card

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (champion) vs Dustin Poirier (interim champion)
  • Edson Barboza vs Paul Felder
  • Islam Makhachev vs Davi Ramos
  • Curtis Blaydes vs Shamil Abdurakhimov
  • Mairbek Taisumov vs Diego Ferreira

Preliminary Card

  • Magomed Mustafaev vs Don Madge
  • Khaild Taha vs Bruno Silva
  • Ottman Azaitar vs Teemu Packalen
  • Liana Jojua vs Sarah Moras

Early Prelims

  • Belal Muhammad vs Takashi Sato
  • Nordine Taleb vs Muslim Salikhov
  • Omari Akhmedov vs Zak Cummings
  • Joanne Calderwood vs Andrea Lee
  • Adam Yandiev vs Punahele Soriano
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 05:  (L-R) UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia and UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier face off during the UFC seasonal press conference at T-Mobile Arena on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

What other UFC activities are taking place during fight week?

Wednesday 4pm-7pm – Open Workouts (Yas Mall, free to public)

UFC 242 athletes go through one of their final training sessions.

Friday 3pm-7pm – Fan Experience (The Arena, free to public)

Meet UFC athletes and legends.

Friday 6pm – Weigh-in (Yas Mall)

UFC 242 athletes come face-to-face as they take to the scales.

Saturday 5pm-9pm – Fan Experience (The Arena, free to public)

Meet UFC athletes and legends.

How do I get tickets?

There are limited tickets available, including the "Ultimate Access" package. More details can be found at https://www.adshowdownweek.ae and https://www.ticketmaster.ae. The initial batch of tickets, released in June, sold out within four days.