Athletes praise the hospitality and safety measures in UAE capital as UFC® 253 is set to kick off mega five-event schedule on Sunday

Abu Dhabi, UAE – September 25, 2020: The wait is over, quarantine is completed, and it’s time for main event. UFC Fight Island is back in Abu Dhabi and some of the world’s best fighters are ready to put on a Return to Fight Island to remember, starting with UFC® 253 ADESANYA vs COSTA on Sunday, September 27. Ahead of the highly anticipated event, fighters praised the level of safety and hospitality in the UAE capital.

“Man, the hospitality here is amazing. I love this place. It’s really amazing what has been done. Everybody is together and everybody is safe. This is very hard to do. I’m ready (for UFC® 253), thank you Abu Dhabi,” said Brazilian Paulo Costa, who faces Israel Adesanya in a thrilling middleweight title clash of athletes who are so far unbeaten in UFC®.

“I feel privileged because it feels like this whole island, Yas Island, has shut down because of the UFC and I’m the headliner. And I feel like in the crazy time we are in, it is pretty awesome that we’re able to do this in Abu Dhabi,” commented opponent Adesanya.

Russian athlete Zubaira Tukhugov is back to the scene of his victory at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Showdown Week in September 2019 and is ready to face Canada’s Hakeem Dawodu on the main card.

“Asalamu Alaikum, firstly thank you so much Abu Dhabi for your hospitality. I really like it here. It is like my second home. Thank you so much for the service, food, everything. Thank you. We are here in the safe zone. This is very good for fighters,” said Tukhugov

American ace Diego Sanchez takes on Jake Matthews in a highly anticipated welterweight match-up and he is looking forward to being a part of this ‘monumental’ occasion.

“It’s been great. It truly is a monumental experience, being here, being part of Fight Island here on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The [safe zone] is shut down, so it is truly for the fights and it is quite amazing time to be here. It is all about these fights, it’s all about UFC. For a space to hold an event and it be this important with nothing else going on. I really feel like I am a part of something really special,” said Sanchez.

Sijara Eubanks also expressed her excitement for her women’s bantamweight clash with Ketlen Vieira.

“I think it’s amazing what they’ve done with the safety zone. Not only does it feel safe, it has been easy to navigate. Sometimes you hit a safety zone and you’re not sure where to go, you feel too confined. They have done a great job here of keeping us safe but still allowing us to be ourselves and have some freedom. We have been able to move around, we’re able to ride bikes. So, I love that it’s safe but we’re still able to have some semblance of normality,” said Eubanks.

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