Conor McGregor Applauds Saudi Arabia UFC Fight Night March 2024
Conor McGregor was the first to congratulate UFC for successfully sealing the Saudi Arabia deal. UFC will feature Fight Night in the kingdom for the first time in March 2024. It will be held in conjunction with the Riyadh Season festival.
This deal comes after UFC’s merger with WWE, which has been running shows in Saudi Arabia since 2014. The mergership gave rise to a new company called TKO Group Holdings. WWE, as per Wrestlenomics, has agreed to a 10-year contract with Saudi Arabia in 2018. It gets around $50 million for every event in the kingdom through to 2027.
Saudi Arabia is set to draw out big belts like Conor McGregor and Israel Adesanya for the fights, but it depends on the cards being drawn by Dana White. It should be noted that McGregor recently entered the USADA testing pool to prepare for a much awaited return – 2024.
Saudi Arabia Looks Ahead
A PIF company SRJ Sports Investments is also looking at martial arts. Bander Bin Mogren, SRJ chairman, said their goal is not just investment. “We aim to promote martial arts, ensure gender equality in sports, and introduce new opportunities in Saudi Arabia and MENA.
Moreover, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) is set to launch the MENA league in 2024. Donn Davis, PFL founder, regards the SRJ partnership as a major step. This is also part and parcel of Saudi Arabia’ Vision 2030, which will see the kingdom emerge as a global hub for business, tourism and sports.
New Era of Sports in Saudi Arabia
Mogren believes SRJ is shaping a new era of sports in Saudi Arabia. It’s accelerating the growth of domestic sports economy. The country aims to nurture the local and regional talent pool in martial arts and bring new opportunities to the kingdom and the wider region.
MMA is not a new sport in Saudi Arabia. The UFC has hosted matches and events in Abu Dhabi. For the UFC Fight Night March 2024, Dana White will be announcing the fights and this is likely to come be seen in the coming months.