Dubai: The Holloway versus Kattar UFC showdown will go down in history as the Las Vegas-based promotion’s first post COVID-19 event to be held in front of a live, if limited, audience at the new Etihad Arena on YAS’s Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on Sunday (January 17).
And what a spectacular return it will be to Abu Dhabi, who will also host two more expolsive events on January 20 and 24.
The triple header which reopens it door to the paying public demonstrates Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s (DCT Abu Dhabi) bid to revive tourism in 2021.
The highlight will be the return of Conor ‘Notorious’ McGregor to the Octagon for a rematch with Dustin Poirier for the international debut of the all-new Etihad Arena, the region’s largest multi-purpose indoor arena which is located on the stunning waterfront of Yas Bay, and which is set to become the new international home of UFC.
Although the purpose-built arena has a capacty to host 18,000 fans, only 2,000 fight fans will be admitted to watch the first UFC event for 2021.
According to MMA Junkie, tickets ranging from Dh 795 ($216 USD) to Dh 4 ($1,360 USD) were completely sold out for Etihad Arena, host of the January 23 PPV card.
The events will be held with strict 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.
The series opener Holloway vs. Kattar (also known as Fight Island 7) will also mark the first time a UFC event will be broadcast on ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation). It also means the first return to network television since December 2018.