‘Blockbuster’ UFC 281 set for Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi


The UFC will return to Abu Dhabi for a pay-per-view card in Oct. 22, the company announced Friday.

According to the promotion, UFC 281 will take place at the Etihad Arena and cap off the “Abu Dhabi Showdown Week” with a “blockbuster event” headlined by a “crowd-pleasing title bout.” It’s still unclear which champion will defend their belt in the fourth quarter of 2022 in Abu Dhabi.

The most recent pay-per-view shows in the United Arab Emirates were topped by Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira and Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor, both at the Etihad Arena.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kamaru Usman also defended their thrones in Abu Dhabi since 2020, defeating Justin Gaethje and Jorge Masvidal, respectively, in times where fans still weren’t allowed in arenas in Abu Dhabi.

UFC currently has four pay-per-view events official for the upcoming months. UFC 273 will feature champions Alexander Volkanovski and Aljamain Sterling opposite Chan Sung Jung and interim titleholder Petr Yan, respectively, on April 9. UFC 274 will take place on May 7 with lightweight king Charles Oliveira facing Gaethje.

UFC 275 will go down on June 11, possibly in Singapore, with Teixeira battling Jiri Prochazka in the main event, while Valentina Shevchenko defends the flyweight throne versus Taila Santos in the co-main event. UFC 276 will take place in Las Vegas but currently has no main event set.