Jan Blachowicz v Glover Teixeira to headline UFC's return to Abu Dhabi

Rematch between Sterling and Yan for bantamweight title also set to take place at Etihad Arena

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 27:  Jan Blachowicz of Poland celebrates after defeating Dominick Reyes in their light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi in October will be headlined by Jan Blachowicz’s light-heavyweight title defence against Glover Teixeira – one of two championship bouts to feature on the bill at UFC 267.

The world’s lead mixed martial arts promotion announced on Wednesday that the October 30 event will, as expected, include twin title fights, with the rematch between bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan also taking place at Etihad Arena.

More bouts are expected to be confirmed within the next week. UFC 267 concludes the second iteration of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, marking a revision to the five-year agreement signed between the UFC and the emirate in 2019. The capital has since hosted the standalone UFC 242 and three Fight Island series, with the most recent staged in January.

Blachowicz, 38, will have fond memories of Abu Dhabi given it is where he secured the light-heavyweight belt last September, when he defeated Dominick Reyes for the vacant crown via technical knockout at UFC 253.

The Pole has since defended the title once, at UFC 259 in March, where he inflicted middleweight champion Israel Adesanya’s first defeat in the promotion. Teixeira, meanwhile, is currently the light-heavyweight division’s No 1-ranked contender. Like Blachowicz, the Brazilian rides a five-fight win streak.

Blachowicz-Teixeira will follow immediately Sterling’s title defence against Yan. The duo met first at UFC 259 in Las Vegas, with Sterling prevailing by disqualification after Yan was punished for an intentional illegal knee strike in the fourth round.

In doing so, Sterling became the first athlete to win a UFC belt by disqualification. Yan had captured the crown in Abu Dhabi, at UFC 251, which kicked off the inaugural Fight Island series in July 2020.

While neither the UFC nor local organisers have confirmed other bouts for UFC 267, a number of intriguing match-ups have been mooted. Khamzat Chimaev, another star of the Fight Island series, is tipped to make his long-awaited comeback following a protracted battle with Covid-19.

Updated: August 25th 2021, 3:02 PM
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