The UFC finally is set to make its return to the Middle East.
The promotion heads to Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7 for UFC 242, its first trip to the region since 2014.
The inaugural show there was UFC 112 in 2010, which featured two title fights. Anderson Silva defended his middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Demian Maia, and Frankie Edgar beat B.J. Penn to capture the lightweight belt.
Four years later, the UFC made its return to Abu Dhabi for UFC Fight Night 39: Nogueira vs. Nelson. In the main event, Roy Nelson knocked out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the first round.
Now, five years later, the UFC is back to Abu Dhabi and the card is headlined by a big championship fight.
Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) has a title unification fight against interim champion Dustin Poirier (25-5-1 MMA, 17-4-1 UFC) in one of the most anticipated fights of the year. “The Eagle” successfully defended his lightweight title vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in the biggest pay-per-view event in UFC history. He scored a fourth round submission win and now looks to continue his unstoppable run vs. Poirier.
Poirier won the interim lightweight title against featherweight champion Max Holloway with a unanimous decision at UFC 226 in one of the best fights of the year. He will travel to what is dubbed enemy territory when he attempts to become the first man to defeat Nurmagomedov.
UFC 242 takes place Sept. 7 at The Arena at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.
In the co-main event, two lightweight sluggers rematch when Edson Barboza takes on Paul Felder. Also, a top-10 heavyweight showdown features Curtis Blaydes vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov.
The card is not stacked with high-profile names, but what it does feature some fighters from the Middle East and North African region. Inside, meet the four Arab fighters who are scheduled to take part in the UFC’s third trip to Abu Dhabi.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Ahead of UFC 242, meet the Arab fighters competing in Abu Dhabi