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UFC to return to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to Yas Island in April following a new two-year agreement with promoters Flash Entertainment.

The partnership will see at least five events staged in the region before 2016 and the event on April 11 is the second of six fight nights to be held in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region this year.

The UFC also plans to bring its reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter to the region in order to give local athletes the chance to compete for a UFC contract. UFC made its debut in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

“This agreement is a major step in our strategic expansion across EMEA and, in particular, will see our audience grow dramatically across the region,” said Garry Cook, the executive vice president and managing director of UFC EMEA. “There is a huge market for the UFC in the Middle East; the fans want live events and can now look forward to local tailored content in the region.”

John Lickrish, Chief Executive Officer at Flash Entertainment, said: “Flash Entertainment has been proud partners of the UFC for many years, stretching back to the historic UFC 112 event in Abu Dhabi in 2010. The announcement today heralds a bright future for the millions of fight fans and practitioners alike across the MENA region, as we work together to develop a programme of year-round UFC events.”