'Massive' female fight may headline Abu Dhabi UFC event, says UFC President

Dana White said that the UFC would have female fighters headline an event if a big enough match-up is found
'Massive' female fight may headline Abu Dhabi UFC event, says UFC President
Joanne Calderwood of United Kingdom compete against Andrea Lee of United States in their Women's Flyweight Bout during the UFC 242 event at The Arena in Abu Dhabi (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 10 Sep 2019 09:53 AM

The UFC would bring female fighters to headline an event in the UAE if they found a potential match-up “massive enough”, according to UFC President Dana White.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi following UFC 242, White said that it would have to be a high profile fight for women to headline an event in the region.

“If I have a fight big enough to do it, we’ll do it,” he said.

The fight, he added, would have to be something similar to the clash between fighters Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015.

The event, which was held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, was attended by 56,214 people, making it the most attended UFC event in the promotion’s history.

“It’s one of those things. The crazy thing about this sport is….that you never know,” White added.

UFC 242 attendance

Additionally, White said he was unable to reveal how many people attended UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi or how much was earned at the gate.

“We don’t have the gate or attendance numbers for the night,” he said. “We don’t own the gate. But the gate was ridiculous and the attendance was amazing.”

Saturday’s event in Abu Dhabi was the first event in a five-year partnership signed between the UFC and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi).

“What we’re planning on doing when we come back, is basically like doing 'International Fight Night' in Vegas, but much bigger,” White said.

“Abu Dhabi is a destination that people want to go to. They have great hotels, great restaurants and the shopping is insane,” he added. “They’re continuing to build all these incredible things to do here, and we’re going to be a part of that over the next five years.”

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