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Dana White announces UFC 257, first three events of 2021 to take place on Fight Island

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Dustin Poirier
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC’s return to Fight Island is now official.

On Tuesday, UFC President Dana White announced via Instagram that the promotion’s first three events of 2021—beginning with a Fight Night on Jan. 16 and culminating with a matchup between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor at UFC 257—will take place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

@danawhite, Instagram

White has long maintained in interviews that this was the plan and reports surrounding the January matchups all indicated that Fight Island was the likely destination.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, the UFC has primarily held shows on Yas Island and at its own UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas (there was also a trio of events in Jacksonville, Fla., in May). January’s events will mark the UFC’s first fights outside of the UFC APEX since October.

In addition to the Poirier-McGregor UFC 257 main event, the triple-header fight week also includes a Jan. 16 card headlined by featherweight contenders Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar, as well as a welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev on Jan. 20 that was rescheduled from a December show after both Edwards and Chimaev tested positive for COVID-19.