UK UFC fans will get a rare treat with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s return against Justin Gaethje set to take place at ‘European prime time’.
UFC pay-per-views are usually held on Saturday nights in America, forcing viewers this side of the Atlantic to stay up until the early hours of Sunday morning.
However, Dana White has reportedly now indicated that the Dagestani’s lightweight title defence at UFC 254 next month will be in a different slot.
MMA journalist Carlos Contreras Legaspi claims UFC president White plans to hold the event in the evening for European time zones.
That will mean US can tune in live during the afternoon.
Legaspi wrote on Twitter: “Dana White tells me #UFC254 will be held in european prime time at #UFCFightIsland2 so fans can see Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs. Justin Gaethje. Afternoon in American time like what they did on #UFC242.”
Dana White tells me #UFC254 will be held in european prime time at #UFCFightIsland2 so fans can see Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs. Justin Gaethje. Afternoon in American time like what they did on #UFC242 pic.twitter.com/Mvv9cOLsvh
Nurmagomedov’s last appearance was a successful defence against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 and took place in a similar time slot.
UFC are set for a blockbuster Fight Island return culminating in the highly-anticipated fight between Nurmagomedov, back after the death of his father, and Gaethje.
Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa have been lined up to headline UFC 253 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
That will kick-start a five-event run in the Middle East to take place over the next few months, according to ESPN.
Adesanya is set to defend his middleweight title against Costa before Khabib and Gaethje – who recently wowed fans with how he shrugged off a brutal head kick in training – will battle for the lightweight crown on October 24.
Fight Island was set up as a venue to host fights during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kamaru Usman defeated late replacement Jorge Masvidal there in their UFC 251 welterweight title bout in July.
Since then, UFC boss Dana White has seen his promotion return to its home in Las Vegas.
The biggest event since was Stipe Miocic’s win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 in Sin City last month.
But Adesanya and Costa’s headliner on September 26 will mark a return to the privately-owned Fight Island.
The plot of land serves as its own coronavirus-free bubble, with fighters and staff being tested before they enter.