UFC 253 finally has a location to call home, as the upcoming ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) will take place on Sept. 26 from inside Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., per a recent report by MMA Fighting (Ag. Fight initially broke the news).
Looks like UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will get his Mortal Kombat fight after all.
UFC 253 will spark a five-event return to “Fight Island” after the promotion has been hunkered down inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas for the past month. The UFC’s second stay on “Fight Island” will culminate with UFC 254 on Oct. 25, which will feature a main event clash between undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim titleholder Justin Gaethje.
Leading the way at UFC 253 is a main event grudge match between “Last Stylebender” and Brazilian knockout artist Paulo Costa. The two middleweights have been on a collision course for well over a year now and their matchup expects to produce one of the best fights of 2020. It’s rare that a UFC title bout features two undefeated fighters so this one is going to be special, especially if Adesanya and Costa show up like they say they will.
Adding to the mix will be a co-main event clash featuring former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes and streaking veteran Jan Blachowicz. The two finishers will battle it out for the vacate 205-pound title after Jon Jones walked away from the division just last month. Reyes may not be happy about fighting for the UFC title on just six weeks notice, but “Devastator” will nonetheless have another shot to hoist light heavyweight gold, while Blachowicz takes his first stab at the throne.
UFC’s initial stopover on “Fight Island” took place back in July and featured four fight cards in total, including UFC 251 and its three title fights. The promotion originally constructed “Fight Island” to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and have a location to host international fighters that are limited by widespread travel restrictions. UFC’s first run on “Fight Island” was so successful that UFC president Dana White believes the private getaway will serve as the new “Fight Capital of the World.”
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