The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has had a fruitful partnership with the middle-east in the past few years. From holding big PPV events in the region during the pandemic to 2022’s UFC 280, the promotion has seen a lot of successful nights during the course of the past three years. It looks like the relationship is going to continue as the company is slated to return to UAE in October this year with UFC 294.
It's official – we're headed back to Abu Dhabi in October for #UFC294!!— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2023
🎟 Register your interest: https://t.co/FklxNLCaHo@VisitAbuDhabi | @InAbuDhabi | #InAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/8WWqhPlaLh
UFC 294 will be held in the United Arab Emirates on October 21, 2023, inside the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Ironically the last UFC event in Abu Dhabi was UFC 280 on October 22, 2022, inside the Etihad Arena as well! So the UFC will be back in the UAE in the span of exactly a year. On the previous occasion, it was Islam Makhachev who headlined the event and won the vacant lightweight title against Charles Oliveira.
Volk vs Islam 2— Ordinary MMA Connoisseur (@JoelJ00) March 16, 2023
Although there is no word on the main event for UFC 294, one fan speculated that it may host the rematch between Makhachev and Alexander Volknovski. The two previously fought at UFC 284, in Perth, Australia for the lightweight strap. The bout ended with Makhachev getting the win in a close fight. With the first fight taking place on Alex’s home turf, it only makes sense that the rematch happens in Islam’s backyard.
However, there is a slim chance of the bout happening. Volkanovski has Yair Rodriguez to take care of, who is the interim featherweight champ. Islam, on the other hand, has contenders like Dustin Poirier at lightweight. Although Islam vs Volk 2 seems improbable for UFC 294, they both may feature on the card in separate fights.
Is Khamzat Chimaev making his return at UFC 294?
Khamzat Chimaev is one of the biggest superstars, who is currently out of competition. He fought Kevin Holland at UFC 279 co-main event and won without absorbing a single strike! However, he has been absent since then and fans have been clamoring for a Chimaev fight for a while now. Although Chimaev has been training, there is no news of a potential opponent.
In a recent Instagram post, Khamzat Chimaev revealed that he is set to return after the culmination of Ramadan later this year. It makes UFC 294 a prime date for his comeback to the Octagon. UFC President Dana White has been speaking about a possible Colby Covington fight for a while, but there is no development on that front. Meanwhile, Chimaev has expressed interest in a possible middleweight title bout.
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UFC 286 will feature the rematch between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman. The winner of the bout could be one of the contenders for the Chimaev fight at UFC 294. At UFC 280, Khamzat created headlines for his confrontation with Abubakar Nurmagomedov. However, “The Borz” will try to correct it and make news for all the right reasons this time.
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