The UFC will kick off 2021 with fans in attendance for the first time since last March.
UFC’s return to Fight Island on January 16 will now feature a “limited” number of fans as announced by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism on Thursday. Fans will also be in attendance for the other two scheduled Fight Island events to kick off the year: UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny and the UFC 257 blockbuster featuring the return of Conor McGregor in a headliner opposite Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.
There is currently no word on how many fans will be in attendance, but Dana White recently claimed that he would only be interested in hosting fans for events if he were able to sell out the arena, so it will indeed be interesting to see how many fans will be permitted into these three events, especially regarding the return of Conor McGregor at UFC 257.
Dana White once said during the COVID-19 pandemic, “It kills me to do a fight with Conor without fans. Kills me. This guy’s doing almost $20 million gates.”
Perhaps the distress of a gateless Conor McGregor fight inspired Dana White to pull some strings behind closed doors. But harmless speculation aside, we do now know that there are going to be people experiencing something millions have not been able to do for nearly a year: enjoying the unique thrill of a live UFC event.
UFC on ESPN: Holloway vs. Kattar takes place January 16 followed by UFC on ESPN: Chiesa vs. Magny on January 20 and, finally, UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier on January 23. All three events will take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Are you excited to see fans in attendance for a UFC event again?