The rematch between Waianae’s Max Holloway and Australian Alexander Volkanovski is slated to be part of the debut of the UFC’s “Fight Island” on July 11 in Abu Dhabi.
UFC President Dana White revealed on Tuesday that “Fight Island” will be held on Yas Island, a popular tourist destination in Abu Dhabi. UFC 251 will be the first of four fan-free shows held on the site. He announced on ESPN’s First Take that the Holloway-Volkanovski bout for the featherweight belt will be one of three title fights on the card.
The pay-per-view UFC 251 show is also expected to be headlined by U.S. welterweight Kamaru Usman’s title defense against Brazil’s Gilbert Burns and José Aldo is expected to fight Russia’s Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight belt. UFC 251 also will feature a rematch between former strawweight champions Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade, according to White.
Volkanovski (21-1) claimed the UFC featherweight title last December with a unanimous decision over Holloway (21-5) in UFC 245 in Las Vegas. The loss snapped Holloway’s 13-match winning streak at 145 pounds dating back to 2013 when he lost to Conor McGregor.
The UFC will hold subsequent shows on Yas Island on July 15, July 18 and July 25. The promotion signed a five-year deal to hold annual events in Abu Dhabi last year.
White told ESPN, his promotion’s broadcast partner, that Fight Island will encompass a hotel and restaurants along with an octagon. Only people directly involved with the fights will be allowed inside the area.
White also said the UFC will have a training octagon set up on the beach.
The UFC led the return of major pro sports in North America with three shows in Florida last month. The promotion has since staged two shows in Las Vegas, and three more cards are scheduled for this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report