Fight Island to allow attendance, although limited

The COVID-19 global pandemic caused the cancellation of five UFC events, beginning on March 21. However, under two months later, the league was back. There have been 33 shows since, in Florida, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, and on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. However, all events have been held in an empty arena.

Now the the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCTAD) has announced on the social network that a limited number of spectators will be allowed to watch live and in-person for the events scheduled on January 16, 20, and 23:

“[DCTAD] is to host the third instalment of UFC Fight Island on Yas Island from 16 to 24 January, welcoming a limited number of spectators to the new Etihad Arena. The triple header will see three mega-fights, utilising Abu Dhabi’s proven ‘safe zone’ concept to protect the health and safety of all delegates, spectators, crew and media.”

Of interest, the Fight Island events in January will not be held at the Flash Forum, which hosted all of the UFC’s events in Abu Dhabi in 2020. Instead, they will be held in the 18,000 seat Etihad Arena. A limited number of tickets are now available at etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.

UFC Fight Island 7 on January 16 is headlined by former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar. UFC Fight Island 8 on January 20 is headlined by Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny. at welterweight. And UFC 257 on January 23 is headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier.

McGregor, the biggest pay-per-view draw in the sport’s history, is currently ranked #4 at lightweight, and #12 on the pound for pound list. Poirier is ranked #2 at lightweight, and #7 P4P. UFC president Dana White says the winner is next in line for a title shot, probably.

The bigger question is who the title fight would be against. Division champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is retired, but stayed in the USADA testing pool, leaving his options open. He will be on Fight Island, watching the event live, and has a meeting scheduled with White to discuss his future.

White has said his ideal scenario is McGregor winning on 1/23, and Khabib agreeing to a rematch. What do you think UG, Who wins the UFC 257 main event, and who does the winner fight next, and for what?

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