UFC to return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for five events finishing with Khabib vs Justin Gaethje on October 24

THE UFC will return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for five events – ending with Khabib Nurmagomedov's unification against Justin Gaethje.

Israel Adesanya's middleweight title defence against Paulo Costa on September 26 will top UFC 253 – their first show back in the Middle East.

The lightweight unification between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje headlines UFC 254 and will close out Fight Island five weeks later.

Three Fight Night cards will also be sandwiched in between the pair of pay-per-view events.

UFC president Dana White said: “Fight Island was a massive success in every way that you can measure success. 

“While the rest of the world shut down, we worked with our partners in Abu Dhabi to put on the best live sporting experience, and we did it safely and responsibly. 

"The infrastructure they have in place, from the arena, to the hotels, to the restaurants, is second to none, and we’re excited to be going back."

The UFC stationed themselves in Yas Island in July having held behind closed doors events in Florida and Las Vegas.

But only US based fighters could compete due to travel restrictions in America.

As a result, Fight Island offered international stars the chance to compete, with the UFC later staging four events overseas.

It kickstarted with Kamaru Usman's welterweight title defence against Jorge Masvidal – who filled in on just a week's notice.

Such was the magnitude of the fight, it sold 1.3m PPV's – the UFC's sixth biggest box office success.

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