Abu Dhabi was also a key partner for UFC during the pandemic, enabling the organisation to host events on the bio-secure Fight Island, while most sports around the rest of the world were suspended. Twelve UFC events took place in Abu Dhabi from July 2020 to January 2021 in a move that kept fighters active and fans entertained during those unprecedented times.  

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UFC President Dana White said: “Everybody knows how much I love Abu Dhabi and the people there, so we are excited to be returning with another amazing card for UFC 294 this October. Abu Dhabi has been such an important part of the UFC’s overall business for years, and we have seen some incredible events during that time. We have some big plans in store for UFC 294, and I can’t wait for another insane night of fights in October.”

Saleh Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, promised a memorable UFC 294 event: “Abu Dhabi and UFC have a deep and trusted partnership dating back more than a decade. We understand the passion and desire of fans in the region for world-class events and together we constantly strive to deliver fight cards that appeal to as wide an audience as possible. UFC 294 and the fifth edition of Abu Dhabi Showdown will be memorable, and we look forward to announcing the fight card in the coming months.”