UFC to return to Abu Dhabi's Etihad Arena in October

As of yet, no bouts have been announced, although the card will feature at least one world title fight

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The UFC will return to Abu Dhabi in October for another pay-per-view event, it was announced on Friday.

The world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion will stage UFC 281 on October 22 at Etihad Arena – its first show in the capital since last October's UFC 267.

As of yet, no bouts have been announced, although the card will feature at least one world title fight. The event falls under the five-year agreement signed between Abu Dhabi and the UFC in April 2019.

UFC 281 will form part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, which runs October 17-23. It marks the first time events and activations can return in full physical form in the emirate since UFC 242 in September 2019.

In a statement on Friday, UFC president Dana White said: "I can't wait to bring another event back to Abu Dhabi. Every time we go there the events get bigger and better, and this year we are going all out and bringing back Abu Dhabi Showdown Week in addition to more incredible fights. Fans are not going to want to miss this one."

Abu Dhabi strengthened its relationship with the UFC through the pandemic, in which it hosted three Fight Island series totalling 12 events – four of which were the promotion's marquee numbered shows – between July 2020 and January 2021. UFC 267, meanwhile, was headlined by Glover Teixeira’s light-heavyweight championship win against belt-holder Jan Blachowicz.

Fatima Al Baloushi, acting director of Abu Dhabi Events Bureau at the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “UFC and Abu Dhabi Showdown Week are massively popular and almost permanent fixtures on our Abu Dhabi Calendar.

“We strive to deliver the world's best fighters and we are excited to bring yet another thrilling title bout to Abu Dhabi in October. We look forward to welcoming fans from around the world and showing them why Abu Dhabi is the ultimate UFC destination.”

Fans can register to receive ticket news and event information at https://mailchi.mp/visitabudhabi/ufc281-register-your-interest.

Updated: March 18, 2022, 1:26 PM