The UFC has officially announced its return to the United Arab Emirates.

The Las Vegas-based promotion announced Sunday that it had agreed a new five-year partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The new partnership will begin with UFC 242 which now has a date set for September 7 later this year. No venue is confirmed as of yet though.

“We are making a long-term commitment to Abu Dhabi because we have had great success in that market,” UFC President Dana White said in a release. “The demand from our fans to bring UFC back to Abu Dhabi has been overwhelming, and over the next five years, DCT Abu Dhabi will help us deliver some spectacular UFC championship fights to the UAE.

“I’m very excited about this partnership and what it will mean for the growth of this sport and for UFC in the region.”

The UFC previously held a pay-per-view (UFC 112) in Abu Dhabi in 2010 which was headlined by a middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia. Frankie Edgar also upset BJ Penn for the lightweight title on that same card.

UFC 242 is expected to be headlined by the return of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. He will be facing interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in a title unification fight.

However, like the venue, no fights are confirmed as of yet either.

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.