Home » Events » The First UFC Event to Debut in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on June 22
The First UFC Event to Debut in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on June 22
The First UFC Event to Debut in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on June 22

The UFC is set to debut its first ever event in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on June 22, 2024. 

Headlining the event is a bout between the undefeated rising star Khamzat Chimaev and Robert Whittaker to determine The No 1 contender for middleweight champion. 

The clash promises an electrifying showdown between Chimaev’s grappling prowess and Whittaker’s striking finesse, with the champion poised to challenge current champion Dricus Du Plessis.

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The Saudi Arabia Debut

The UFC’s debut in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the capital city of Riyadh, is a landmark moment for the promotion and the country. Initially planned for March 2, the event was postponed to June 22 to ensure the participation of top-tier talent, hence promising an unforgettable experience for fight fans.

Headlining the UFC: Chimaev vs. Whittaker

Image Credit UFC

The night’s main event is a middleweight No. 1 contender’s fight between former champion Robert Whittaker and undefeated rising star Khamzat Chimaev. 

Image Credit AFP

This bout promises to be a thrilling showdown, pitting Whittaker’s striking finesse against Chimaev’s grappling prowess. The winner is likely to challenge the current champion, Dricus Du Plessis.

Other High-Stakes Fights at UFC Event

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Aside from the main event, the fight card is stacked with several high-profile bouts. These include heavyweight clashes between Sergei Pavlovich and Alexander Volkov and a welterweight battle between former UFC title challenger Kelvin Gastelum and Daniel Rodriguez.

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It will also feature a light heavyweight face-off between Johnny Walker and Volkan Oezdemir and an intriguing match between undefeated Shara Magomedov and Ihor Potieria.

UFC’s Global Expansion

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The UFC’s venture into Saudi Arabia is part of its global expansion strategy. The promotion has consistently sought to establish its presence in untapped markets, bringing high-octane MMA action to new audiences. The Saudi event is another significant step in this direction.

UFC Fight Night in Riyadh

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The UFC event will occur at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. This venue is expected to provide a fitting backdrop for the high-stakes fights, enhancing the viewing experience for spectators and creating a captivating atmosphere for the fighters.

Economic Impact on Saudi Arabia

The UFC’s debut in Saudi Arabia will significantly boost the country’s economy. The event’s influx of tourists and visitors will spur revenue from ticket sales, hotel accommodations, transportation, dining, and other related expenditures.

Cultural Exchange and Local Talent Development

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Hosting a UFC event also facilitates cultural exchange between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Global fighters, fans, and media can experience Saudi culture and hospitality

Furthermore, it is likely to inspire local talent in combat sports, leading to increased participation in MMA and the development of local training facilities and infrastructure.

Ticketing and Broadcast Details

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Details about ticketing for the event are yet to be released. However, the event will be broadcast live and free on ABC in the United States, ensuring that fans worldwide can witness the UFC’s historic moment in Saudi Arabia.

Expectations and Predictions

Image Credit Instagram khamzat chimaev

Expectations are high for the UFC’s debut in Saudi Arabia. Given the caliber of fighters on the card and the event’s significance, fight fans eagerly anticipate a night filled with intense action and unforgettable moments.

The Road Ahead

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The UFC’s inaugural event in Saudi Arabia signifies a pivotal moment in the promotion’s global expansion and the evolution of MMA in the Middle East. With a stacked card featuring top-tier talent, the event promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for fight fans worldwide. 

As we count down to June 22, the anticipation continues to build for what promises to be a historic night of MMA action in Riyadh.

More Combat Sports Iniatives in Saudi Arabia 

WWE Experience

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Riyadh Season has officially opened the WWE Experience at Boulevard City in Riyadh, marking it as the first immersive WWE experience in the world.

Unveiled during the 2023 Crown Jewel event, this attraction offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to delve into WWE’s universe. 

From the awe-inspiring WWE Superdome to the adrenaline-pumping Undertakers Graveyard Escape, guests can immerse themselves in various captivating experiences. 

Moreover, The Crown Jewel exhibition dazzles with a breathtaking array of historic Championship titles and authentic memorabilia, making its debut appearance for enthusiasts to behold.

The PFL and Bellator Merger

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The Professional Fighters League has acquired its rival, Bellator MMA, which has brought about a novel format in the world of MMA, where fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship each year. 

This format offers an exciting twist to the traditional MMA scene, providing fighters with more opportunities to showcase their skills globally.

The combined roster of PFL and Bellator boasts 30% of its fighters independently world-ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight class, matching the same percentage as the UFC. This statistic underscores the quality of fighters in both organizations and the high competition expected at the event.

The Professional Fighters League Stakes

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SRJ Sports Investments, supported by the PIF, has entered the mixed martial arts realm with its first investment, acquiring a $100 million stake in the Professional Fighters League (PFL). 

This move represents SRJ’s initial foray into MMA, with plans to introduce a regional tournament to the kingdom.

The PIF and ESPN Partnership

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The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has collaborated substantially with ESPN, focusing on the Professional Fighters League. This strategic partnership underscores Saudi Arabia’s increasing impact on the worldwide sports domain. 

The agreement encompasses broadcasting and Pay Per View on ESPN+, with the objective of enhancing Saudi Arabia’s representation in the global sports arena.

Keep Reading: Riyadh Season Officially Opens the World’s First WWE Experience in Boulevard City

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