UFC set for explosive return to Abu Dhabi with Islam Makhachev defending his title against Charles Oliveira


UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev will defend his title belt in a rematch against No. 1 ranked contender Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 294 to be held in Abu Dhabi this October.

With Makhachev (23-1-0) winning his last 12 bouts and former titleholder Oliveria (34-9-0) securing 12 of his last 13, including finishes over Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, there is guaranteed to be fireworks inside the octagon as the UFC comes back to the Etihad Arena on Yas Island.

Held as part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week’s fifth edition, the action-packed night of fights on October 21 will also see the highly anticipated return of Khamzat Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) as he moves back up to middleweight to take on No.7 ranked contender Paulo Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC).

Also, No. 2 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-1) will be looking to make a statement against No. 5 Johnny Walker (21-7-0) in a bout with title implications on the line

No.13 ranked UFC middleweight contender Nassourdine Imavov (12-4-0) will face Ikram Aliskerov (14-1-0)

UFC veteran and No. 10 ranked flyweight contender Tim Elliott (20-12-1) plans to become the first person to defeat rising prospect No. 11 ranked Mohammad Mokaev (10-0-0)

This edition of the UFC will be the latest event held as part of a longstanding partnership between the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

Abu Dhabi has established itself as one of the world’s premier sporting locations, with the UFC being one of the annual highlights. Last year, tickets sold out in record time and with a white-hot atmosphere on the night, local favourite Islam Makhachev was able to capture the lightweight title and deliver one of the UAE capital’s most iconic sporting moments of 2022 in front of a packed-out Etihad Arena.

In recent years, Abu Dhabi has played host to some of the UFC’s most memorable events, featuring stars such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, Aljamain Sterling, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, Dustin Poirier and Sean O’Malley.

The fifth edition of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week will also see a series of city-wide activations including fan events, fighter meet and greets, fitness challenges, nightlife parties, food and beverages offering and much more.


  • Etihad Airways welcomes UFC President Dana White and welterweight champion Usman to Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi to host UFC title fights for next five years

Tickets go on public sale at 12pm on Friday through Etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae. VIP Experience packages are currently available via On Location.