Abu Dhabi, UAE – October 17, 2020: In seven days, Abu Dhabi will welcome the return of crowd favourite Khabib Nurmagomedov to the UFC octagon for the first time since his victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC® 242 in the emirate back in September 2019.
Khabib, nicknamed ‘The Eagle’, seek to retain his lightweight title and undefeated status when he faces the lightweight division’s interim champion Justin Gaethje at UFC® 254 on October 24. The much-anticipated champion vs champion match-up is the main event of UFC® 254. It is also final bout of a thrilling 59-fight Return to Fight Island, the five-event mega series currently taking place on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.
The Russian fighter produced a dominating display in his last Octagon appearance, defeating American opponent Poirier by submission in round three of their Abu Dhabi Showdown Week main event last year, which was also held on Yas Island. In the coming week Nurmagomedov will be hoping to continue his successful run in Abu Dhabi.
“All the time I come back here to the UAE and fighting in Abu Dhabi. For me, it’s like I’m fighting in my home. I feel great with this. This is an amazing place,” said Khabib previously
However, Gaethje has arrived in Abu Dhabi in great form following his May victory over Tony Ferguson, which saw him named interim champion in Khabib’s Octagon absence due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Return to Fight Island has already recorded a number of milestones and ensured the health and safety of more than 2,500 people housed inside the innovative UFC Fight Island safe zone bubble.