The first batch of UFC athletes has arrived in Abu Dhabi ahead of the upcoming Fight Island “Triple Header”.
The three-event series, the UFC's third residency in the capital, begins on Saturday with UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Kattar and concludes with Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 24. UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Magny falls in between, on January 20.
All events take place at the new Etihad Arena on Yas Bay, with fans able to watch live - the first time the UFC has staged shows with spectators in attendance since March.
Fighters began to arrive over the weekend, with Saturday’s headliners Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar among the first to check in at the W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island hotel. All athletes are regularly tested for Covid-19 and undergo an initial 48-hour quarantine.
While organisers said on Monday that there’s been a “huge demand” for tickets since they went on sale on Friday, especially for UFC 257, packages are still available at etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.
In a statement, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said: "The events will be held with stringent measures in place to ensure the health and safety of fans, UFC fighters and guests, all stakeholders and the wider Abu Dhabi community.
"Precautionary procedures include mandatory negative PCR test results for all attendees, thermal scanning, the wearing of masks and strict social distancing, among others, demonstrating Abu Dhabi’s coordinated response to COVID-19 which has been recognised as one of the world’s best."