UFC announce first Fight Night to take place in Saudi Arabia, with Conor McGregor labelling it ‘incredible news’ ahead of his return to action next year

  • Saudi Arabia are bullishly entering the world of sport on many different levels
  • Having already hosted big boxing matches, they are to hold UFC Fight Night
  • Conor McGregor reacted to the news by posting that is is ‘incredible news’

The UFC have announced they will host their first ever event in Saudi Arabia in March next year in news hailed by Conor McGregor as ‘incredible’. 

McGregor, who has reentered the USADA testing pool and is set to make his long-awaited return next year, would be the kind of big name Saudi would love to headline a card. 

But it seems the nation state will dip their toe in the water with a Fight Night rather than a major pay-per-view card to start with. 

Saudi Arabia has increased involvement and investment in a number of sports in recent years, particularly football, golf and boxing. 

Tyson Fury’s lucrative crossover bout against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in the boxing ring is to be held in Saudi on October 28.  

Conor McGregor posted this after news of the announcement broke from the UFC

Many consider the move an attempt at sportswashing, while the kingdom claim they are targeting sport as an area for diversification and greater economic growth. 

The UFC’s event will be in partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority and take place during Riyadh’s Season festival. 

McGregor reacted to news of the announcement by posting: ‘Huge congratulations to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UFC on the major announcement! Incredible news! I am honored! Bravo, Turki Alalshikh.’

The UFC has already held a number of events in the middle east in Abu Dhabi. 

And UFC 294 will see the promotion once again return next Saturday for a huge show headlined by Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev. 

The Australian replaced Charles Oliveira on late notice and the UFC also managed to draft in Kamaru Usman to face Khamzat Chimaev in the co-main event following Paulo Costa’s late withdrawal. 

Dana White (right) is taking the promotion back to the Middle East having already been to Abu Dhabi many times

Dana White (right) is taking the promotion back to the Middle East having already been to Abu Dhabi many times

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk