UFC has announced its return to Abu Dhabi for UFC 294 on October 21 as the world’s best mixed martial artists face off once again at the Etihad Arena.
It will be the latest event to be held in the UAE capital as part of a landmark partnership, launched in 2019, between the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
The fight card is yet to be announced, but the event will be headlined by a highly anticipated championship title bout.
Last year, a sold-out Etihad Arena witnessed Islam Makhachev become the lightweight champion, when he defeated Charles Oliveira via second round stoppage at UFC 280.
UFC 294 will mark the 18th event UFC has held in Abu Dhabi since UFC 112 in 2010, when legend Anderson Silva squared off against Brazilian compatriot Demian Maia.
Since then, some of the biggest names in MMA have performed in the UAE capital including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and Khamzat Chimaev.
“Abu Dhabi has been such an important part of the UFC’s overall business for years, and we have seen some incredible events during that time. We have some big plans in store for UFC 294, and I can’t wait for another insane night of fights in October,” said UFC President Dana White.
“We understand the passion and desire of fans in the region for world-class events and together we constantly strive to deliver fight cards that appeal to as wide an audience as possible,” added Saleh Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi.
It’s official – we’re headed back to Abu Dhabi in October for #UFC294!!
— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2023
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Australia, South Africa crowned champions at Dubai 7s – ARN News Centre
Australia and South Africa won both the women’s and men’s tournaments at the Dubai 7s weekend.
For the first time the series, also known as the HSBC SVNS, the tournament featured equal numbers of men’s and women’s teams competing in each leg of the competition.
Women’s Rio 2016 Olympic champions Australia got off to a flying start on Saturday with victories over Brazil (39-0), Japan (66-0), and Ireland (33-5).
On Sunday the Pearls beat USA 32-5 in the quarter-finals, before edging past France 21-14 in the semi-final to set up a final match against their oldest rivals, and reigning series champions, New Zealand.
Australia clinched the winning try through flying winger Maddison Levi, sealing the game 26-19 and top spot in the rankings.
Olympic Games Paris 2024 hosts France beat Canada 26-5 in the third place play-off.
— HSBC SVNS (@SVNSSeries) December 3, 2023
South Africa’s men’s team opened their season with victories over Samoa (22-14), Canada (35-14), and previous champions New Zealand (21-19) in the group stage.
After comfortably dispatching Australia 24-7 in the quarter-finals on day two, they shocked two-time reigning Olympic champions Fiji 14-7 in the semi-finals.
The defending champions beat Argentina 12-7 in a thumping encounter to claim their fifth straight Emirates Dubai 7s title.
Unstoppable in Dubai 🎆
— HSBC SVNS (@SVNSSeries) December 3, 2023
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Fernandez double helps 10-man Chelsea to 3-2 win over Brighton – ARN News Centre
First Chelsea Premier League goals from Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill earned the 10-man home side a 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at a rain-sodden Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea played the entire second half a player down after captain Conor Gallagher picked up two yellow cards, but World Cup-winning Argentine Fernandez kept them in front with a goal in each half.
Fernandez, who had only previously scored in the League Cup, headed home a neat overhead kick from defender Benoit Badiashile in the 17th minute.
Colwill, on loan at Brighton last season, made it two four minutes later from a Nicolas Jackson headed pass. It was the former Chelsea junior’s first senior goal for his side but he chose not to celebrate in front of the travelling fans.
Chelsea looked to be cruising but Brighton pulled one back two minutes from halftime through a curling shot by Facundo Buonanotte.
Then Gallagher slid in on former Chelsea team mate Billy Gilmour and was dismissed by referee Craig Pawson.
Brighton pressed Chelsea in numbers at the start of the second half, trying to make their advantage tell but substitute James Milner could not keep up with Mykhailo Mudryk on the counter and brought him down.
After a six minute delay for a VAR check, Fernandez scored his second from the penalty spot in the 65th minute.
Brighton’s Joao Pedro made sure of a nervy run-in during time added-on when he scored with a glancing header in the 92nd minute after sustained pressure from the visiting side.
They peppered the Chelsea goal for the last hectic 10 minutes and Chelsea had Robert Sanchez to thank for keeping the score in check.
Pascal Gross had three good chances saved by the Spanish keeper in regulation time and he also kept out a Joao Pedro effort in the 99th minute.
A final twist in the tail sent Pawson to the VAR monitor for a second time after he indicated a penalty for a handball from Colwill as Chelsea defended desperately with every player behind the ball.
The replays showed the Chelsea man had been hit in the face rather than on the arm by the ball and the decision was overturned.
The result sent Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea up a place to 10th in the table, three points behind Brighton in eighth.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 3, 2023
Man City held again in six-goal Spurs thriller, Liverpool move second – ARN News Centre
A Sunday goal glut ended with champions Manchester City drawing a third successive Premier League game as they were held 3-3 at home by injury-hit Tottenham Hotspur to slip to third place in the table, three points behind leaders Arsenal.
The five games produced 24 goals, the last of which was headed home by Spurs winger Dejan Kulusevski in the 90th-minute at the Etihad Stadium to deny Pep Guardiola’s side victory.
Liverpool moved a point above City into second spot as they scored twice late on to turn around a 3-2 deficit at home to Fulham and win 4-3 with Trent Alexander-Arnold sealing victory.
Ten-man Chelsea beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 at Stamford Bridge while fourth-placed Aston Villa needed a late Ollie Watkins goal to scrape a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.
West Ham United drew 1-1 at home to Crystal Palace.
City have now gone three games without a win in the league for the first time in six years as once again their nemesis Tottenham caused Guardiola’s side a headache.
Despite winning three successive titles, City have now beaten Spurs only once in their last five meetings.
Substitute Jack Grealish’s 81st-minute goal looked to have secured City victory but Kulusevski headed in Brennan Johnson’s cross to reward Ange Postecoglou’s side’s risk-taking approach and move them back up to fifth, six points off the pace.
What a game at the Etihad.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 3, 2023
Tottenham’s Son Heung-min had opened the scoring in the sixth minute on the counter-attack but then levelled for City as a cross bounced off him into the net three minutes later.
Phil Foden gave City the lead and they twice hit the woodwork in a dominant first half but Giovani Lo Celso equalised after the break with a sublime low shot.
In a frantic conclusion Guardiola’s side were furious deep in stoppage time when Grealish was through on goal but play was stopped for a foul on Erling Haaland during the build-up.
“It is hard when you review the image, the referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play on. After the pass, the whistle, so I do not understand this action,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“It was a good game. It is a pity. Sometimes football is like life, you do not get what you deserve.”
Arsenal, who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on Saturday, lead the table with 33 points from 14 games, with Liverpool on 31 and Manchester City on 30.