UFC VIP Experience Blog

UFC 242: The UFC's History in Abu Dhabi

Posted by Evan Chronis on Aug 12, 2019 1:30:00 PM

UFC 242 Abu Dhabi

The UFC is headed to Abu Dhabi on September 7 for one of the biggest international events in the promotion's history — UFC 242.

Undefeated UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is putting his 155-pound strap on the line in the main event against Interim Lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier. 

With a card of this magnitude, the Abu Dhabi government is building a specifically constructed venue, The Arena, to house UFC 242. 

But this isn't the first time the UFC has ventured into the United Arab Emirates or the first time an arena has been constructed when the world's biggest mixed martial arts organization rolls into town. 

Here is a look at the first two events that the UFC has hosted in Abu Dhabi. 

UFC 112: Invincible

When: April 10, 2010

Where: Yas Island

Attendance: 11,008

The UFC made its first trip to the UAE in 2010 for UFC 112: Invincible, putting on its first ever outdoors event. As the inaugural UFC event in the country, a new venue needed to be constructed to hold the event. The Abu Dhabi government constructed The Concert Arena for UFC 112, a temporary venue that was taken down following the conclusion of the event. 

UFC 112 was headlined by two title fights at the top of the card, as Anderson Silva defended the UFC Middleweight Championship against Demian Maia and B.J. Penn put his UFC Lightweight Championship up against Frankie Edgar. The main event was originally scheduled to feature Vitor Belfort challenging for Silva's title, but Belfort was forced out of the event due to a shoulder injury. 

In the co-main event, Edgar used a stellar combination of striking and wrestling to outclass Penn over five rounds and win the UFC Lightweight Championship by unanimous decision. Edgar would go on to hold the belt for almost two years before he was dethroned in February 2012. 

Then in the main event, a prime Silva put on one of the cleanest performances of his career, defeating Maia by unanimous decision and earning his sixth-straight Middleweight title defense. 

UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson

When: April 11, 2014

Where: du Arena

Attendance: 7,963

Four years after the debut in Abu Dhabi, the UFC returned for a Fight Night card headlined by a Heavyweight clash between Roy 'Big Country' Nelson and Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira. 

Unlike UFC 112, this Fight Night was held at a permanent venue, the du Arena. While it was the UFC's second trip to Abu Dhabi, this Fight Night made its own history as the first mixed martial arts event to be held at the du Arena. 

The main event delivered in exciting Heavyweight fashion, as Nelson knocked Nogueira out with a walk-off right overhand in the first round. The mouth-watering KO blow earned Nelson the 'Performance of the Night' honors and sent the fans in attendance home with a highlight reel finish. 

Attend UFC 242 with an Official Ticket Package

Get the ultimate experience at UFC 242 with an Official Ticket Package. Be in attendance at The Arena in Yas Island when Nurmagomedov and Poirier finally clash for the UFC Lightweight Championship. Packages include seating in the hospitality suite, a reserved seat to the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday, access to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, meet-and-greet opportunities with UFC fighters and much more!

UFC 242 Official Ticket Packages

Topics: UFC 242

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