Fight Island is going to open with a bang.
The UFC is set to kick things off in Abu Dhabi with three world title fights on one event on July 11. As announced by UFC president Dana White on ESPN earlier today, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his belt against Gilbert Burns, Alexander Volkanovski will meet Max Holloway in a rematch and Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo will compete for the vacant bantamweight title.
Round out the main card, White said, will be Paige VanZant vs. Amanda Ribas and Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas.
July 11 was originally set to be the UFC’s annual ‘International Fight Week’ card, but with the rise of COVID-19, plans were forced to change and the UFC found a new home for the blockbuster card in Abu Dhabi.
The Usman-Burns bout may come at something of a surprise to fans, with Jorge Masvidal having been expected to fight for the world title next. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the promotion were unable to come to terms with the star, and that’s why Burns leapt ahead in the queue.
In the co-main, Holloway will be attempting to reclaim his position as featherweight champion after he was soundly beaten by Alexander Volkanovski in December.