Article

The UFC Returns to Abu Dhabi in April

The UFC returns to Abu Dhabi on April 11...
UFC PARTNERS WITH FLASH ENTERTAINMENT
TO BRING LIVE EVENTS TO THE MIDDLE EAST


Commencing with UFC FIGHT NIGHT: NELSON vs. NOGUEIRA,
on the 11th April at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi


London, UK - The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, has announced a major expansion into the Middle East after entering into an exclusive partnership with FLASH Entertainment, the region’s foremost live entertainment producer and promoter, to deliver live UFC events as part of a two-year agreement.

The UFC will return to the Middle East on Friday 11th April, at Abu Dhabi’s entertainment hotspot Yas Island, for the second of six Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Fight Night events to take place in 2014. The partnership will see at least five regional events staged in the next two years.

The UFC will also work to bring the hit reality sports television show, The Ultimate Fighter to the region. This will give aspiring athletes the opportunity to develop and compete for a contract with the world’s fastest-growing sports organisation.

The UFC Fight Nights will join a roster of prestigious, world class sporting events that FLASH Entertainment has staged across the region including F1, FIFA Club World Cup and ATP Tennis.

Garry Cook, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of UFC EMEA, said: “This agreement is a major step in our strategic expansion across EMEA and, in particular, will see our audience grow dramatically across the region. There is a huge market for the UFC in the Middle East; the fans want live events and can now look forward to local tailored content in the region.

“FLASH Entertainment has worked with some of the biggest sports organisations and brands in the world and they are committed to a shared vision for delivering an unrivalled product in terms of excitement and production values to the Middle Eastern audience.”

John Lickrish, Chief Executive Officer at FLASH Entertainment, said: “FLASH Entertainment has been proud partners of the UFC for many years, stretching back to the historic UFC 112 event in Abu Dhabi in 2010. The announcement today heralds a bright future for the millions of fight fans and practitioners alike across the Middle East and North Africa, as we work together to develop a programme of year-round UFC events. We look forward to making further announcements very soon.”

The first EMEA event of 2014 takes place in London, England on Saturday 8th March. UFC Fight Night London 2014 will see Sweden’s light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson take on England’s undefeated Jimi Manuwa in the main event at the city’s O2 Arena. 

For more information about UFC, its events and programming, please visit www.ufc.com.

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About the Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, moving to FOX Sports 1 in September 2013.
 
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries, to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly 2.4 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, UFC FIT®, an in-home fitness and nutrition program, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.
 
ABOUT FLASH ENTERTAINMENT
Based in Abu Dhabi, FLASH Entertainment is the region’s premier live events company, with a proven track record in delivering world-class events from movie premieres and classical shows to international sports events and megastar music concerts. FLASH offers comprehensive event management solutions from concepts and designs through to coordinating every stage of production. The company is committed to providing the region with diverse entertainment programmes, grass roots creativity and stimulating the local economy and events’ industry.

In just 5 years, FLASH has diversified its business portfolio developing entertainment that has seen close to two million fans through the doors. Partnering with leading international sports and entertainment organizations such as Live Nation, Cream and UFC, the company is well on its way to achieve its mission of growing from the region’s premier live events company, to a globally recognized peerless entertainment organization. FLASH owns a 10% stake in UFC and manages a multi-million-dirham portfolio of assets including the du Arena and du Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. For more information visit www.thinkflash.ae or email: info@thinkflash.ae.
 
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