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UFC 253 confirmed for return to Fight Island along with four more events; UFC 254 gets early start time

Israel Adesanya
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC is returning to Fight Island.

After weeks of speculation, the promotion officially announced plans to return to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi starting with UFC 253 on Sept. 26, which features a middleweight title fight main event as Israel Adesanya takes on Paulo Costa.

A new light heavyweight champion will also be crowned that night as Dominick Reyes faces off with Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event for a vacant title.

Following UFC 253 on Sept. 6, the next card takes place on Saturday, Oct. 3, a show headlined by former bantamweight champion Holly Holm taking on Irene Aldana in the main event.

On Oct. 10, Marlon Moraes faces Cory Sandhagen in a bantamweight main event followed by an event on Oct. 17 featuring the long awaited showdown between featherweights Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.

The second run on Fight Island will end on Oct. 24 with the highly anticipated lightweight title unification bout as Khabib Nurmagomedov clashes with Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254.

That card will feature a much earlier start time with the pay-per-view main card kicking off at 2 p.m. ET in the U.S. with the early prelims starting at 10:15 a.m. ET.

Here’s the full line up along with start times for the cards as announced by the UFC on Thursday.

Sept. 26 — UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa

Main Card: 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Late Prelims: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

Early Prelims: 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

Oct. 3 — UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana

Main Card: 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT

Prelims: 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT

Oct. 10 — UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen

Main Card: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

Prelims: 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT

Oct 17. — UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie

Main Card: 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Prelims: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT

Oct. 24 — UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje

Main Card: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

Prelims: 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT

Early Prelims: 10: 15 a.m. ET/7:15 a.m. PT

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