Abu Dhabi confirmed to host 'Road to UFC' semi-finals next month on back of UFC 280

Recently launched tournament, which offers four UFC contracts, to take place on October 23

Etihad Arena will host the semi-finals of 'Road to UFC' following UFC 280. The National
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Abu Dhabi will next month host the second leg of the “Road to UFC”, a tournament where athletes vie for a contract with the world’s lead mixed martial arts promotion.

The win-and-advance competition, launched in Singapore in June, will stage its semi-finals in the capital on October 23 – the day following UFC 280 at Etihad Arena. The UFC confirmed the next phase on Tuesday.

The Road to UFC, designed to showcase the best young Asian talent, comprises four men’s divisions - flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight - with eight participants in each bracket. At its conclusion, a fighter from each division will be offered a UFC contract.

Beginning with 32 competitors, the field was whittled down to 16 following the two-day event in Singapore on the back of UFC 275. The opening round consisted of four episodes.

The semi-finals are divided into two episodes, each of which includes four tournament bouts and one additional non-tournament bout.

The eight winners in Abu Dhabi will then go on to contest the finals later this year. The finals are scheduled to take place on the preliminary card of a UFC Fight Night.

The Road to UFC features fighters from Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India and the UFC Academy in China.

The UFC returns to Abu Dhabi on October 22 with UFC 280, headlined by two world title fights, including the much-hyped lightweight bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. It forms part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week.

Updated: September 13, 2022, 6:15 AM