UFC 253 will be the start of the second series of “Fight Island” events in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., on Sept. 26, multiple sources told MMA Fighting no Friday. Ag. Fight first reported the news.
The pay-per-view show will be headlined by undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya against 13-0 challenger Paulo Costa. The vacant light heavyweight throne will be on the line for co-headliners Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz.
The promotion will run five events in Abu Dhabi between September and October, closing the series with a pay-per-view card headlined by undisputed lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim titleholder Justin Gaethje on Oct. 24.
“Fight Island” was a way for the UFC to keep running events with athletes that were unable to enter the United States due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first run of events featured 52 bouts in four different dates, including four title bouts. Petr Yan and Deiveson Figueiredo were crowned new champions in Abu Dhabi, while Kamaru Usman and Alexander Volkanovski defended their belts.